Politicians lie, no shocker there, they’ve been doing it for eons, but the press is supposed to play a role here in keeping them in check and getting to the truth. In the case of the horribly misnamed Affordable Care Act, most of the mainstream media completely failed us. Nothing illustrates this more than the tortured and corrupt way the bill was debated and finally arm twisted in to being and the video below shows a key way in which this was accomplished
Healthcare policy expert and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute Avik Roy provides three separate incidents in this YouTube compilation of ObamCare architect and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber making his now infamous comments on the stupidity of the American people. Several more videos of Mr. Gruber doing the same thing have also come out , bringing the total to 6 now of him preaching the virtues of dumb American voters in getting flawed policies passed in Washington. His defense after the 1st video was that his comments were “off the cuff” and shouldn’t be taken seriously which he is still sticking to even after videos 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 surfaced.
What a weasel. Honestly, I’d have maybe a tad of respect for the man if he’d just own up to his statements and admit we were lied to from the very beginning, but it’s ok see, because it’s all for our own good, we are just too stupid to comprehend it all Ends justify the means you know and omelettes require cracked eggs and all that jazz.
These videos highlight so perfectly the biggest problem we face with our political system today; the growing number of people in prominent positions who truly believe they know what’s best for us and will do and say whatever they can to pass horrid bills that are supposed to do great things. Funnily enough that process always involves more power and control going to the politicians and their groupies at the expense of us yahoos forced to live the realities of said bills which always means more money from our pockets and less choices on how we can live. Side note, Mr. Gruber’s efforts as Chief Director of Lying has earned him a small fortune of at least $6million and counting. Geeze, maybe we are the dumb ones.
The numbers for ObamaCare never worked but those crafting it didn’t care, at least not in the way you or I would. Some sense of morality would compel a person to be concerned that big important circles could not be squared and either work hard to make it so they could or just be honest on what the bill is; a giant wealth redistribution scheme coupled with a massive federal bureaucracy that will gobble up 1/6 of the economy and increasingly butt up against individual choice and needs.
Now some may argue this is not a bad thing as long as we get more people covered. And some may say yes, it is bad, there are better ways to do this that don’t involve forced subsidization of others and that allow us the freedom to navigate our own healthcare. But an honest and fair argument over one of the most significant piece of legislation in a century was not to be.
The ACA puts us firmly on a path towards nationalizing healthcare, something many on the left have wanted enacted for years. So instead of laying the truth out there, that you can’t insure millions of new people with loads of coverage mandates and no pre-existing condition limits without exploding premium costs and narrowing of choices, the people in charge just lied. Hard, fast and often, that’s what they did and why not? Their almost realized dream was in jeopardy and with a compliant media and a public desperate for premium relief, spinning the ObamaCare fairy tale seemed so much easier than fighting math.
They lied about prices going down, they lied about being able to keep your doctor (if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.), they lied about how superior your new O’Care plan will be, they lied about how wonderful it is that people are being dumped in to Medicaid, they lied about how non disruptive it would be to those with existing plans, they lied about the bill not adding to the deficit, they lied about taxes not going up and they lied about all the new jobs that would be created. My God they even lied about the most basic of things in promising to have the bill negotiations broadcast live on C-SPAN. Remember that? How quaint it all sounds now.
Again, this is normal behavior, almost what we expect now of politicians. The media however, outside of conservative outlets, ate it up like a child being spoon fed ice cream. They took people like Jonathan Gruber at his word and rarely offered intelligent analysis from the other side from folks like Avik Roy mentioned above, or the Heritage Society or the American Enterprise Institute all of whom have done extensive studies on the ACA and its effects. In fact when Melissa Francis from CNBC (she is now with FOX) actually did some honest reporting on the numbers, she was harshly disciplined by her management for “not respecting the office of the President.”
Even worse, when those of us with concerns pointed out the bills obvious faults, we were accused of not wanting poor people to have insurance. Politicians encouraged this, pushing a good vs evil narrative with themselves of course being on the side of angels, fighting those mean, racist Republicans who would rather see sick women and children dying in the streets than pass this bill. The more the hyperbole and demagoguery grew, the more divided the country became and the chance for any type of intelligent debate dissolved in to the ensuing drama.
Jonathan Gruber did us all a favor by bringing to life a perfect example of the condescending, elitist policy maker, sent straight from central casting. And it was not those of us on the right who his words were aimed at by the way, as we knew from the beginning the bill was a clunker. Those on the far left either were not his targets as they were going to support it no matter what. It was the middle of the roaders, smart people who maybe don’t pay too much attention to politics and who vote both Republican and Democrat at times. The ugly truths coming to light now would have turned off a lot of those voters and so people like Gruber were needed to create false narratives about the bill which, in his own words, relied on a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” in order for it to pass.
I don’t think most voters in this case were stupid. I do believe many of them wanted so much for the bill would work that listening to Gruber touting the miracle making wonders of it sealed the deal for them. That and some predefined narratives they probably had about those opposing the bill. I write more about that here.
Insulted is not strong enough a word for how I would feel if that were me.