It appears more people are realizing Jonathan Gruber, the economist who was a top consultant for the White House on the Affordable Care Act, has an honesty problem when it comes to talking about the law.
The latest example is a 2012 video of him basically making the same arguments made by conservatives against the federally run exchanges being able to provide tax credits. Gruber claims he >misspoke. One mistake over the course of hundreds of appearances about the law would be completely understandable, but it turns out it wasn’t an isolated incident.
Gruber apparently made basically the exact same argument that only state exchanges can access tax credits on at least one other occasion. This time it wasn’t in response to a question but seems to be part of his planned remarks. Gruber is now claiming this was also a mistake but that stretches credibility. This argument he once made directly contradicts other statements he has made in defense of the law about the exchange subsides applying in all states.
Either Gruber was misleading these people earlier, perhaps in an attempt to promote his consulting work or trick more states into adopting exchanges to make the law seem more popular, or he is misleading people now.
The fact that Gruber might be less than honest when it comes to the Affordable Care Act shouldn’t come as a surprise. He actively allowed himself to be quoted as an outside expert during the debate when he was actually a paid consultant on the law, and during those interviews he would make hyperbolic statements in defense of the law that were provably false.
This whole incident shouldn’t make much of a difference to the legal argument since he is not a member of Congress. But it is possible it could give the conservatives on the Supreme Court the intellectual cover they need to rule against a law they dislike.
It would be more than be extremely ironic if Gruber’s misleading statements helped get the law approved in first place and his other statements helped legally undermine it.