Jonathan Gruber, along with Ezekiel Emanuel, is considered one of the architects of Obamacare. So when he is caught on video admitting the plaintiff's premise of Halbig vs Burwell which was this week ruled in favor of the plaintiffs it went viral on the Web. The court (and Gruber in 2012) agreed that Congress meant that the states would receive subsidies as an incentive to set up their own Obamacare exchanges. Although, Gruber vociferously denied this recently by claiming the problem was merely a "typo" in the legislation, he is completely contradicted by his earlier statement in January 2012 which you can see after the jump.
So how does the left and their media enablers explain this away? As of this writing the answer is they haven't...with the notable exception of General Electric Vox. And if the lame Vox excuses are any indication, they sure have their work cut out for them since Vox writer Adrianna McIntyre admits Gruber validates the case against Obamacare.
Just a typo, Jonathan? That is what you claimed this week but in January 2012 you affirmed that the Obamacare subsides would be rewarded as an incentive to states to set up their own exchanges:
What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this.
So how to explain this away? I have to give Vox credit for at least making an effort even though it falls completely flat:
Gruber worked closely with the White House to devise Obamacare's landmark health law. He also helped Congressional staff with some of the drafting. But he's still not Congress, so it wouldn't be accurate to read this as proof-positive that legislators intended to withhold subsidies from people on federal exchanges.
That's it, Vox? That's the best you can do? And how to explain away Gruber's obvious contraction in the two videos above? Perhaps Vox should send out its A Team in the form of Sarah Kliff whose specialty is health care to formulate better excuses. In addition, Kliff has already run cover for Gruber before so she has experience at this sort of thing. You can do it, Sarah. Go for it!
UPDATE: Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic contacted Jonathan Gruber today and here is Gruber's "mistake" excuse:
I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it.
A mistake! And temporary amnesia.