White House says Gruber statements 'Simply not true'

Interesting statement from the White House on the comments about voter stupidity and lack of transparency made by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber.

The statement, given to White House water carrier Talking Points Memo, tries to furiously spin the remarks while setting up a gigantic straw man to distract from the devastating import of the words.

The White House is publicly distancing itself from MIT professor Jonathan Gruber's comments on the legislative process behind Obamacare and its "lack of transparency," which have been seized on by conservatives this week, saying that they are "simply not true."

Gruber also invoked "the stupidity of the American voter" in 2013 comments unearthed last week about the Affordable Care Act. He has since said that he regretted the comments and spoke "inappropriately."

“Transparency is a key goal of the ACA: consumers now have more access to information about their health insurance than ever before," White House spokesperson Jessica Santillo said in a statement to TPM. "The Affordable Care Act was publicly debated over the course of 14 months, with dozens of Congressional hearings, and countless town halls, speeches, and debates.

"The tax credits in the law that help millions of middle class Americans afford coverage were no secret, and in fact were central to the legislation," she continued. "Not only do we disagree with those comments, they're simply not true.”

An administration official also noted to TPM that -- while Gruber is often described as an "architect" of Obamacare because he was a key consultant to the administration and was heavily involved in developing the Massachusetts health reform law that served as a starting point for the ACA -- "he did not work in the White House or play the same role in developing the Affordable Care Act."

Did you get that?

1. Gruber was not talking about "transparency" in the context that consumers would have more information. In fact, Gruber was saying that fooling the American people about what was in the act was a tactic. The remark "Lack of transparency" was about helping to pass the bill and had nothing to do with the consumer.

2. It's not a question of hiding the existence of tax credits from the voters. Gruber's remarks make it clear that muddying up the language of the bill was done to fool the Congressional Budget Office and their scoring system.

3. "Jonathan who"? Gruber was intimately involved in designing the bill and in the PR campaign to get it passed.

That's some statement from the White House. Transparently ridiculous.