Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, who once credited “the stupidity of the American voter” for allowing the measure to pass Congress, blamed President Donald Trump for rising premiums and insurers exiting the system.
Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suggested rising premium costs are in fact a one-time increase in 2016 to cover what he called “massively underpriced” policies for the first two years following the law’s passage in 2010.
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pointed out to Gruber there is only one insurer participating in the state exchange across 94 of Iowa’s 99 counties, noting that it is considering leaving the state as well.
“Whose fault is this?” Gruber responded. “Since President Trump has been elected… premiums are going up and insurers are exiting.”
“Wait, you’re going to blame the problems with Obamacare on President Trump?” Wallace interrupted.
Gruber blamed President Trump’s decision to cut the number of advertising days for Obamacare enrollment for Obamacare’s rising prices and fewer policy options, arguing the decision “undercuts open enrollment.”
“Insurers’ profits were trending positively, insurers were saying positive things about their ability to stay in the exchange, to succeed,” he added. “Then you have a president who comes in, undercuts open enrollment, doesn’t honor the obligations this law makes to insurers.”
Republican strategist Karl Rove, who debated Gruber during the segment, argued rising premium costs and insurers leaving the system were occurring long before President Trump made the decision to cut the public advertising period by four days.
“Trump stopped the ads on the 26th of January, and the end of the enrollment period was the 31st,” Rove said. “Really? The problems of Obamacare are going to be solved by four days’ worth of TV ads?”
Gruber achieved widespread notoriety after two videos surfaced in which he is seen crediting the stupidity of the American people, and a lack of transparency by the bill’s architects, for allowing Obamacare to pass.
In one video released in 2014, Gruber noted the Obama administration referred to the “Cadillac tax” on top-shelf, employer-based plans as a tax on insurance policies, not people, in order to exploit voters’ “lack of economic understanding.”
In another video, Gruber suggested “The stupidity of the American voter… was really critical for the thing to pass.”