Magazine article USA TODAY

Stupidity, Lies, and Videotape

Magazine article USA TODAY

Stupidity, Lies, and Videotape

Article excerpt

Lies and promises have been a staple of politics since its inception. As the philosopher Plato observed: "... You ... call it propaganda when people are enticed into a change of opinion by promises of pleasure, or terrified into it by threats.... Yes, propaganda and deceit always go together."

ObamaCare's empty promises have become not-so-funny household jokes: health law negotiations would be live on C-SPAN; if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor; the law will not add a single dime to the deficit; the average family will save $2,500 on their premiums; and on and on and on.

Now the deceit has been exposed thanks go to Jonathan Gruber, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a developer of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The miracle of the Internet has provided undeniable proof that the PPACA was a scam perpetrated on the American public. Gruber's speeches in various venues confirm what many of us already knew: the PPACA is a flawed, unreadable, misleading bill that garnered support based on propaganda and clever--but false--talking points.

Gruber's Oct. 3, 2013, lecture to college students at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., was a real eye-opener. In discussing how subsidies were critical to the success of health reform, Gruber revealed, "the dirty secret" that RomneyCare [in Massachusetts] was paid for by the Federal government to the tune of $450,000,000 a year. Since there was no other government coffer to tap to finance the PPACA's subsidies, multiple taxes are included in the law to generate revenue.

There is no question that we need a discussion and reform of inconsistencies in the tax code regarding employer versus individual payment of health insurance premiums. However, Gruber settled on imposing a 40% tax on high benefit Cadillac health plans. Why? "Americans are too stupid to understand the difference" between a tax break and a tax, he asserted.

Gruber crystallized his jaded views during a panel discussion on Oct. 17, 2013, at the annual Health Economics Conference at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. …

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