Jonathan Gruber: Who’s Stupid Now?

jnthngrbrBy now, the insulting comments by Obamacare advisor and Affordable Care Act designer, Jonathan Gruber, are well known. If you need a primer, read these two articles, or Google it; there’s no shortage of data.

My friend Saurabh Jha, a radiologist of powerful intelligence and wit, thinks Gruber is to be applauded for his intellectual honesty. Not quite. Jonathan Gruber’s odious dismissal of his fellow citizens lays bare the poisoned apparatus for making health policy in our country. His smug, “we showed them,” attitude reflects that healthcare policy generation in the U.S. is driven by a cabal of crony capitalists, a small army of disdainful, contemptuous, ideologues who have played footsie with each other, the government, and the healthcare industry for years, decades even.

They are a treacherous clique that cultivates personal riches and power at the expense of Americans who have been struggling with a hyper-expensive and equally inefficient healthcare system for nearly five decades now. The healthcare industry we have, which mostly sucks, is one they’ve mostly designed, and now their grandiose redesign, in the form of the ACA or Obamacare, is being shoved down the throats of people, many of whom neither want nor need it.

Gruber, however, showcases a special kind of repugnance. Before Gruber’s comments were unearthed by investment analyst Richard Weinstein, I predicted, with eerie accuracy, that the administration’s view of Americans as stupid was a central element to their strategy. In fact, here is the paragraph from my e-book, which went live days before Weinstein went public with the first video clip:

Both policy makers and industry leaders believe we are too stupid and too lazy to extricate ourselves; if I’d been in their shoes, I would have executed the same kind of policy land grab that they did. And, if we don’t change the way we live pretty soon, we will prove them right. The nature of politics is simply that you do what you must to gain, keep, or expand power. That is the essence of Obamacare: the centralization of power in Washington and the institutions and industry with which our political leaders have created the most outrageous bed of crony capitalism in our culture.

It is inconceivable that any liberal Democrat working on a health reform package that intentionally befuddled could have done anything different from what Gruber says they did. It was the only way to accomplish their goals: command, control, and manipulation of the population through confusion and complexity. It is further unthinkable that this craven little coven of acolytes could have possibly strayed from their “let them eat cake” strategy, which Gruber now gloats over.

Amazingly, Gruber has made millions selling his wisdom to the feds, causing no apparent discomfort to the OWS nitwits. Gruber, by any person’s definition, is part of the 1% as the National Review correctly notes, because even without pimping himself out to the feds for the opportunity to screw Americans, he’s doing quite well at MIT. The last thing Americans object to is anyone making money. But, they do have justifiable and admirable sensitivity about honesty in the marketplace; they don’ t like cheaters, bullies, and liars.

To give people like Gruber the straight-arm he deserves, Americans must take greater responsibility for their own lives. There is no other reasonable path to getting government bureaucracies and their private sector enforcers (health plans, hospital systems, academics, and large employers), emboldened and propelled by gasbags like Jonathan Gruber, to shut up and leave them alone. People who want or need to engage with the healthcare industry must be able to do it voluntarily and without compulsion. Compelling their engagement through deceit and complexity is indefensible.

Gruber’s gross miscalculation that people would find him cute and funny is so complete that even the President of the United States is disavowing him, and uber-Obama-hack, David Axelrod, has thrown him overboard.

Republicans should make repeated and loud hay out of statements by this chief alchemist, whose every utterance, along with the addled maunderings of Ezekiel Emanuel, puts ever greater distance between the administration and the people it claims so proudly to serve. It’s one thing for people to think that you are an arrogant, smarmy, sycophantic, condescending, despicable academic, and quite another to keep opening your mouth and removing all doubt.

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