Jonathan Gruber, made famous by his offensively blatant revelations of the deceit behind the construction and passage of the Obamacare law, will testify before Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and the House Oversight Committee tomorrow morning. I
expect the testimony and the follow-up coverage of the hearing to be anti-climatic. Gruber was caught on-camera speaking off the cuff – multiple times – but you can expect he will be prepared, scripted and lawyered-up tomorrow. So unless you just like watching someone who does deserve some harsh scrutiny squirm, there won’t be much to see.
In a way, Gruber did the Republican cause a favor. He bluntly confirmed what we already knew: That clever Hill staffers and lawyers purposely contrived Obamacare as an opaque thicket in order to disguise many of the law’s fees, taxes, penalties and its general government overreach. After all, remember that then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously told us we had to wait until the law passed to find out what was in it.
Well, in that regard, she is right. Obamacare does appear to be the gift that keeps on giving. We just keep finding out more and more about the law’s harsh consequences. Most recently, we have seen how Obamacare disincentivizes the practice of medicine and how this affects doctors in America. An AP story included the fact that already, “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans lives in a region designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians, and the number of doctors entering the field isn’t expected to keep pace with demand.” For those who want to claim Obamacare is working, we’ll have to see how our healthcare system will handle a steadily increasing number of patients while the number of doctors steadily decreases.
It’s too bad the Gruber videos weren’t revealed before the 2014 elections, because they perfectly crystallize the entire Democratic 2014 campaign. That is, don’t admit what you really believe or what you will really do in government. Say things that purposely deceive or at least misdirect the voters from your true intentions. Anyway, Gruber isn’t just a bad episode. He is a living example of what the Democratic Party has become. In its simplest form, Democrats want to talk to the right and then govern to the left. They hide behind platitudes and dishonest attacks on Republicans, but this just doesn’t work, as illustrated by the Democrats’ last gasp in Louisiana this past Saturday, when Senator Mary Landrieu lost her Senate seat to Bill Cassidy, 43 percent to 57 percent.
Despite what is said tomorrow in the House Oversight Committee hearing, perhaps Gruber has already made a lasting contribution to the political vocabulary. If nothing else, he has helped spawn a new verb. As one gentleman wrote in a letter to the editor in The Leaf-Chronicle, “’gruberize’ will now refer to ‘the art of slicking buyers by using catch phrases and weasel wordsmithing.’”
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