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Drexel prof: Obamacare ‘complex,’ not passed via deception

In an article titled “The five dumbest health care statements of 2014,” Robert I. Field, professor at Drexel’s School of Law and School of Public Health, offers up a ridiculously partisan quinary of “winners” for the topic in question.

Most astonishingly, perhaps, is number two on Field’s list: “The stupidity of the American voter was critical to passing Obamacare.”

It’s not that the statement wasn’t dumb … it certainly was — on the part of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. It was a dumb thing to say in public, because it brings forth the truth that the Affordable Care Act was sold to the public based on lies — especially the big one, PolitiFact’s 2013 Lie of the Year.

Regarding those lies, like Gruber himself, Professor Field thinks we’re stupid:

It’s not American voters who were stupid but Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist and key adviser in the crafting of Obamacare, who made that statement. Although he said it in 2013 at a conference at the University of Pennsylvania, it reached a broad audience this past November when a Philadelphia man found a video of it online and posted it for wide dissemination.

Obamacare passed because of a desire by Democrats to reduce the number of uninsured Americans. It is an extremely complicated law, just like Medicare, Medicaid, and President George W. Bush’s Medicare expansion in 2003. None of those laws passed because voters were too stupid to understand their subtleties. Their complexity was not the result of attempts at deception but responses to the underlying complexity of health care. It’s a good thing Professor Gruber doesn’t teach political science.

“… not the result of attempts at deception …”??

You mean like … the individual mandate is not a tax increase? That the ACA would reduce premiums by $2,500 for a family of four? But, most especially, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor — period“?

This doesn’t even address how President Obama and Nancy Pelosi suddenly “didn’t know” about Jonathan Gruber after his revealing ACA comments came to light — even though they obviously do know him. (Obama: “some adviser who never worked on our staff …” Pelosi: “I don’t know who he is.”)

It’s one thing to be a rank partisan, Professor Field, but please don’t pull a Gruber and insult our collective intelligence — again.

Read the full Philly.com article.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.