Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will Not Be Affordable

A new investigation by the Daily Caller (DC) unveils that while he was helping the President develop his signature legislation and the President was telling people that Obamacare would bring down costs, Jonathan Gruber was writing a policy brief revealing that Obamacare would be unaffordable and some people would lose coverage for certain medical procedures to cut costs.

The DC obtained a Gruber-authored policy brief created for Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Center for Policy Research. In October 2009, at the same time Obamacare was being written, Gruber wrote in the brief “that Obamacare had no cost controls in it and would not be affordable.”

So what’s different this time? Why are we closer than we’ve ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill’s about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control.

Also reported is that Gruber claimed “the only way to control costs is to effectively deny treatment [or what Sarah Palin called “death panels”].”

The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’

There’s no reason the American health care system can’t be, ‘You can have whatever you want, you just have to pay for it.’ That’s what we do in other walks of life. We don’t say everyone has to have a large screen TV. If you want a large screen TV, you have to pay for it. Basically the notion would be to move to a level where everyone has a solid basic insurance level of coverage. Above that people pay on their own, without tax-subsidized dollars, to buy a higher level of coverage.

In a 2012 San Francisco discussed by the DC three weeks earlier, Gruber explained the reason why Obama lied about his healthcare bill bringing down costs.

I wish that President Obama could have stood up and said, ‘You know, I don’t know if this bill is going to control costs. It might, it might not. We’re doing our best. But let me tell you what it’s going to do…” Gruber said on a San Francisco podcast in 2012.

If he could make that speech? Instead, he says ‘I’m going to pass a bill that will lower your health care costs.’ That sells. Now, I wish the world was different. I wish people cared about the 50 million uninsured in America…But, you know, they don’t. And I think, once again, I’m amazed politically that we got this bill through.

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