Health care law architect apologizes for 'stupidity of American voter' remark
Posted November 12, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — An architect of the Affordable Care Act says he regrets saying last year that "the stupidity of the American voter" helped Congress approve the health care law.
A professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jonathan Gruber served as a consultant to the Obama administration in 2009 as it put together the health care overhaul.
During a 2013 academic conference, Gruber said the law was "written in a tortured way" to avoid a bad review from the Congressional Budget Office and to obscure some of the financial aspects of the law.
"Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage," he said, according to a video of the conference that recently surfaced. "Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to get anything to pass."
Gruber now says he was speaking "off the cuff" and "inappropriately." The point he was trying to make, he said, was that giving people money to offset health insurance costs was "not politically feasible," so subsidies to help low-income people obtain health coverage were done through the tax code.