It has been said that even if you put all of the economists in the world end to end, they still would not reach a conclusion. Well, “news flash!” — one of them has reached a conclusion. MIT professor of economics Jonathan Gruber, who helped construct Massachusetts’ health reform and who is described as an “architect” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), has concluded that you are stupid.
From the plethora of the professor’s videotaped and snarky comments, it should now be apparent to every “stupid American” that the framers of PPACA engaged in misdirection worthy of Penn & Teller. According to Arthur Buckley, the author of Principles and Deceptions, “When a performer directs his audience to the conclusion that he has done something which he has not done, he has wrongly directed them into this belief, hence, misdirection.”
The professor’s most immediately significant comment is already memorialized in the briefs for the King vs. Burwell case to be heard by the Supreme Court this session. Speaking at Noblis Inc. on Jan. 18, 2012 Gruber said, “If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”
Some believe that this may bring down PPACA and others believe that if the court rules for the plaintiffs, there will just be some executive action that magically morphs the federally-run exchanges into state-run entities overnight. In any case, as we learned in NFIB v. Sebelius, divining the outcome of this court is an exercise in futility.
Meanwhile, the Republicans and their newly-captured majority in the U.S. Senate will likely focus on repealing the medical device tax, the individual mandate or even the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). After the Democrat’s debacle that was the 2014 midterms, the Republicans may even have some support from the other side of the aisle for these forays into PPACA.