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Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:40 PM

Why is it so shocking or horrible to Democrats that the President used political tactics

to get the ACA passed? Political tactics that Gruber stupidly exposed?

I can see why the other side is complaining, but why the Dems? It seems that half the time people here are complaining that Obama isn't a master of politics, like LBJ, and the other half they're complaining that he's just a politician.

He, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and others cooperated to get an ACA bill passed that could make it through Congress. To do that they had to jump through some political hoops. There is nothing unusual or outrageous about this -- except to the hypocrites on the other side of the aisle, and to Dems who don't know how bills routinely get passed.

It is no coincidence that all the hubbub about this and the Supreme Court taking on the ACA subsidy case is happening at the same time. Anyone who thinks otherwise is incredibly naive.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/upshot/the-jonathan-gruber-controversy-and-washingtons-dirty-little-secret.html?hpw&rref=upshot&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&abt=0002&abg=1


That would be Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. health economist who helped design the Massachusetts health reforms on which Obamacare was based and then advised the Obama administration on that program’s design. At an academic panel in 2013, he said that “this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure” the Congressional Budget Office “did not score the mandate as taxes.” He also said that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” and added, "Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

SNIP

But here’s the dirty little secret: Mr. Gruber was exposing something sordid yet completely commonplace about how Congress makes policy of all types: Legislators frequently game policy to fit the sometimes arbitrary conventions by which the Congressional Budget Office evaluates laws and the public debates them.

In the case of the Affordable Care Act, that meant structuring the law so that the money Americans must pay the Internal Revenue Service if they fail to obtain health insurance under the law’s mandate is a penalty, not a tax. (The Supreme Court held that, though not a tax, the penalties were constitutional because they were an exercise of Congress’s taxing authority, which is the kind of distinction only a lawyer could come up with). That’s the reason the financial assistance the health law gives people to buy insurance is structured as a tax credit, not a direct payment, which would probably be simpler and more efficient.

And as Sarah Kliff notes at Vox, it is also why the law was structured to expand insurance coverage three years after passage. That way its cost estimate by the C.B.O. was kept under $1 trillion during the first decade after enactment. One trillion was the highest number that Democratic leaders thought was politically feasible.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why is it so shocking or horrible to Democrats that the President used political tactics (Original post)
pnwmom Nov 2014 OP
Warren Stupidity Nov 2014 #1
pnwmom Nov 2014 #4
msongs Nov 2014 #2
pnwmom Nov 2014 #6
Dreamer Tatum Nov 2014 #21
pnwmom Nov 2014 #23
Recursion Nov 2014 #11
Blue_Tires Nov 2014 #3
True Blue Door Nov 2014 #5
freshwest Nov 2014 #14
Cha Nov 2014 #7
pnwmom Nov 2014 #8
Blanks Nov 2014 #9
pnwmom Nov 2014 #10
Zorra Nov 2014 #12
Number23 Nov 2014 #13
Jamaal510 Nov 2014 #16
bhikkhu Nov 2014 #15
JonLP24 Nov 2014 #17
pnwmom Nov 2014 #19
JonLP24 Nov 2014 #20
Hekate Nov 2014 #18
Dreamer Tatum Nov 2014 #22
pnwmom Nov 2014 #24

Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:45 PM

1. I don't know any Democrats who give a flying fuck about this.

 

The concern seems to be entirely manufactured. Most Democrats I know just wish we had leaders who had worked to enact something a lot less crappy and Republican than the ACA.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:48 PM

4. Then you must have missed all the posts here about it. nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:45 PM

2. it is not "stupid" to expose the inner work of government. that's called "transparency". remember

that buzz word that has been cast aside?

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:50 PM

6. Gruber himself said it was an off the cuff mistake. And it was.

He said that his statement wasn't clear and that the meaning was misunderstood.

And for Gruber to have made these off-the-cuff mistakes was, IMO, stupid.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/11/who-is-jonathan-gruber/

“I honestly don’t remember why I said that,” Gruber told The New Republic in July. “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.”

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:25 AM

21. Jesus Christ, his statement was CRYSTAL CLEAR.


He is an arrogant academic talking to other arrogant, overpaid, smug academics. There was a camera on him, and guess what? He got caught being himself in his natural habitat.

Why people can't accept that is a pathetic, embarrassing mystery.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #21)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 03:13 AM

23. And it was an incredibly stupid thing

for someone who is a supporter of the ACA to have said.

Clearly, his massive ego got the better of his supposedly large brain.

Yes, the President and Congressional leaders made political calculations and wrote them into the bill. So what.

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 09:25 PM

11. Which ACA hearings were closed-door? (nt)

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:47 PM

3. They probably shouldn't see how sausages are made, either...

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:48 PM

5. Certain people would rather not win if the price is dealing with other human beings.

They make a religion out of finding fault with their own alleged Party, but of course never do anything to correct that fault - doing so would remove the opportunity to denounce it.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 10:24 PM

14. True! This is how it's done... And it's not as easy as yelling:

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:52 PM

7. Poor Jon Gruber.. talking about "stupid Americans".. now we find out he's one.. in the respect of

not knowing when to keep his big mouth shut. UnFreakingReal.

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Response to Cha (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:56 PM

8. He was an idiot.

The problem is, though, that in a sense he is right. The average American is not very informed at all; that's why the Rethugs succeeded in winning the last election.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 09:24 PM

9. Here's a video of him responding to the right-wing shit storm.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 09:25 PM

10. Thanks. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 09:27 PM

12. Yes, it's timed and scripted RW propaganda. nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 09:52 PM

13. Errr... you mean like the same "Democrats" that feel that Obama has called himself a Moderate

Republican or said that Nixon was "more liberal" than he was? Who feel that the president shouldn't even talk to conservative news organizations and that everything should be done by banging his fist on the "bully pulpit?"

Are you really surprised that they are surprised? I think some of these folks get "surprised" when water falls out of the sky.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 12:55 AM

16. +1

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 10:43 PM

15. Too many people hate the idea of compromise, and have no idea what "negotiation" means

Basically, in a diverse country where lots of different people have lots of different ideas, that's the only way things get done. In a perfect world, everyone would have the same education and background and experiences and think the same thoughts, and we'd all agree on what to do and how to do it easily.

Of course, that's kind of a creepy idea. I think if there were such a perfect world, there'd also have to be an imperfect world, and that's where most of us DU'ers would get exiled to.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 01:04 AM

17. I don't think it is "stupid" to expose things

The American people should be exposed to what really goes on. I think the average American generally considers most, if not all politicians dishonest so they have an idea this type of thing goes on which is probably why turnout has dropped since 1960.

To have meaningful change, we have to know how the system works.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 01:16 AM

19. It was stupid of Gruber to say what he did because he, unlike the Rethugs,

supports the ACA and wasn't intentionally trying to damage it.

It was stupid to let his ego override his sense.

He just shot off his mouth and that was stupid.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 01:22 AM

20. He accidentally told the truth

I run into that problem myself, I prefer to be straight-forward and the same back to me.

Just that I have certain values that defer than other people. JMO

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 01:08 AM

18. KnR, pnwmom

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:28 AM

22. Are you parsing this to death to convince yourself, or someone else?

That video isn't a smoking gun. It's a full-throated, gloating, smug confession.

Why try to spin it? It is what it is. It was utterly misrepresented to get it passed.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 03:17 AM

24. It wasn't misrepresented anymore than almost any bill is.

No one wants to vote for any "tax," so they arranged for it to be a "mandate" instead. Are you saying good Democrats should load their bills with terminology that will keep them from ever getting passed?

Every person who voted for it knew exactly what the were voting for. Whether it is called a "tax" or "mandate" doesn't change the bottom line for most people -- exactly how many dollars they might have to pay.

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