WASHINGTON (CNN) — A third video emerged Wednesday of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, insulting voters and suggesting their ignorance was exploited by those pushing passage of the health care law.
Neither the White House nor Gruber would comment.
In this one, Gruber was discussing how then-Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, pushed forward a way to add a tax on expensive health insurance plans, or “Cadillac Plans,” that would purportedly tax the insurance companies though Gruber suggests everyone knew the companies would just pass on the additional cost to customers.
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said at the Honors Colloquium 2012 at the University of Rhode Island.
The moment is at about 29:25 in this video. The video was first reported by The Daily Caller.
Over the weekend, media first became aware of a video of Gruber making a similar remark — that the unintelligent voters were hoodwinked by those pushing passage of Obamacare, which was in his view for the good.
That video, from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 (which you can see here) featured Gruber saying, “If you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — if you made it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed, OK? Just like how people — transparent — lack of transparency is a huge advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever. But basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”
Gruber said he wished “we could make it all transparent. But I’d rather have this law than not.”
Asked for reaction to the video, Senator-elect Thom Tillis, R-NC, told The Lead that it sounded like Gruber was arguing that “the ends justify the means…That is exactly what the American people are tired of. They want transparency. They want to be treated with respect. We did a lot of very difficult bills since I’ve been speaker of the house (of the North Carolina legislature). Some of them were controversial on both sides of the ideological spectrum. But we took the time to explain it to people and not do this sort of bob and weave.”
On Tuesday, Gruber went on MSNBC to offer a mea culpa. “I was speaking off the cuff and I spoke inappropriately, and I regret making those comments,” he said.
But then more videos emerged. Last night, Megyn Kelley on Fox News showed another excerpt of a Gruber lecture, this from Washington University at St. Louis in 2013, where he said “they proposed it and that passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”
The videos were documented over the course of the last year by Rich Weinstein, an investment adviser who became interested in the origins of the law after the price of insurance for his family doubled. Weinstein tells CNN he has many more videos in his collection.