Obama Tries to Distance Himself from Gruber

Maybe Jonathan Gruber was a little too honest when he said that voter stupidity and a lack of transparency were the keys to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. But Obama can’t be accused of the same thing. He’s been distancing himself from Gruber ever since Gruber’s confessional video went viral. When asked, in so many words, “Did you mislead America about Obamacare to get it passed?”, Obama answered, in so many words, “No.” Here are his actual words:

No, I did not. I just heard about this. I get well-briefed before I come out here. The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with—in terms of the voters—is no reflection on the actual process that was run. We had a year long debate. I mean, go back and look at your stories. The one thing we can’t say is that we did not have a lengthy debate about healthcare in America. Or that it was not adequately covered.

Well, we could say that actually. A year-long debate? Not really. It wasn’t a debate, because no one even knew what we were talking about. For lots of reasons. For one, the length and complexity of the legislation itself. And the greater length and greater complexity of the regulations written to implement the legislation after it was passed.

We’re talking about thousands of pages:

At an average of 1,100 words per page, the 10,535 pages of Obamacare regulations consist of approximately 11,588,500 words.

By contrast, as officially published by the Government Printing Office, PPACA is 906 pages long and HCERA is 55 pages long. These pages include an average of only 397 words. That means PPACA and HCERA’s combined 961 pages consist of approximately 381,517 words.

For each word actually in the Obamacare law that Congress enacted, the Obama administration has written 30 more words in regulations indicating how it will be enforced.

So… how could there have been a debate? People were saying things like, “We have to pass it to see what’s in it.” They weren’t joking. The debate about the law before it was passed really meant nothing. Because no one knew what the law would mean until after it was passed. Which sounds a lot like a lack of transparency. By design. And, whatever you may say, Mr. Obama, such a lack of transparency would not have worked unless the American voter was, well, stupid. So Gruber told the truth. And Obama didn’t. Big surprise there.