Jonathan Gruber is testifying before Congress today about his role in constructing and passing the Affordable Care Act. You should know all about this, because the Administration released a memo detailing how the Bush-era CIA used Enhanced Interrogation Techniques including something I don’t want to get into titled “rectal feeding” to obtain information in the War on Terror, that pretty much every news outlet is covering instead of Jonathan Gruber testifying before Congress.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The Torture Memo is important. So important, in fact, it probably shouldn’t have been used to detract from hearing on how the Administration and Congressional Democrats, along with their advisors, may have misled the American public on heath care reform. But I digress. Jonathan Gruber is testifying today, and he has a very special message for all of you idiots out there, who were duped into believing Obamacare was actually about improving your health care system: he’s sorry.
Gruber has come under fire for claiming ObamaCare’s authors took advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter.”
He delivered a mea culpa of sorts in his opening remarks on Tuesday for what he called his “mean and insulting” comments, explaining some of his remarks while trying to take some of them back. After once saying a lack of transparency helped the law pass, Gruber said Tuesday he does not think it was passed in a “non-transparent fashion.”
He also expressed regret for what he called “glib, thoughtless and sometimes downright insulting comments.”
“I sincerely apologize for conjecturing with a tone of expertise and for doing so in such a disparaging fashion,” Gruber said. “I knew better. I know better. I’m embarrassed and I’m sorry.”
He said he “behaved badly” but stressed that “my own inexcusable arrogance is not a flaw in the Affordable Care Act.”
He’s right, of course. If the author being kind of a douchebag directly affected the legality of any Federal legislation, there would literally be not a single law on the books. Chuck Schumer could singlehandedly bring an end to the entire Federal government as we know it. Peter King would have dismantled the Defense department by himself. But it’s not the eloquent way in which Jonathan Gruber expresses his faith in his fellow Americans that’s the problem. It’s that the videos expose Gruber’s knowledge of a potentially fatal flaw in the legislation: that it was never meant to provide financial support to any American whose state failed to create it’s own healthcare exchange.
That little detail is the center of litigation that will reach the Supreme Court, and while Gruber has contended, after the fact, that the whole matter of state versus Federal exchanges was a mistake, the statements he made before the law passed reveal that the law was intended to read exactly that way. Whether he thinks everyone he encounters on a daily basis is a complete and utter moron is immaterial (though, at least, we now have independent confirmation that the Democrats who “passed the bill to see what’s in it” might be trouble in the Wal-Mart self-checkout line).