Posted by Curt on 24 November, 2014 at 6:44 pm. Be the first to comment!


Washington Examiner:

While President Obama campaigned on a promise that his universal health care plan would lower premiums, his controversial adviser and plan architect was privately warning the state of Wisconsin that Obamacare was poised to massively increase insurance costs for average residents, internal documents show.

Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist currently under fire for suggesting the Obama administration tried to deceive the public about the Affordable Care Act, was hired by former Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle in 2010 to conduct an analysis on how the federal health-care reform would impact the state.

Mr. Gruber’s study predicted about 90 percent of individuals without employer-sponsored or public insurance would see their premiums spike by an average of 41 percent. Once tax subsidies were factored in, about 60 percent of those in the individual market were projected to see their premiums go up 31 percent, according to his analysis.

In addition, 53 percent of those insured by companies with fewer than 50 employees, would see their premiums rise by an average of 15 percent even after subsidies, Mr. Gruber forecasted. The report warned such increases could impact small companies’ decision whether to provide health insurance to their workers.

“There remains some uncertainty about employer reactions given the many forces which might impact their decision to offer insurance,” the report said.

The contrast between the Obama administration’s optimistic rhetoric on Obamacare and Mr. Gruber’s private warnings to Wisconsin is certain to attract new attention from the Republican-led Congress, which wants to know whether there was an effort by the administration to deceive the public about the true consequences of the law as Mr. Gruber suggested in a videotape that surfaced recently.

Mr. Gruber and the White House declined comment when contacted by The Washington Times this week.

The Gruber study, which was released publicly in August 2011 with little fanfare in the state of Wisconsin, was largely ignored by Mr. Obama, who campaigned in 2012 that insurance premiums would actually decrease under his healthcare legislation.

“So when you hear about the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — and I don’t mind the name because I really do care. That’s why we passed it,” the president declared in a campaign speech in Cincinnati, Ohio back in July 2012, “you should know that once we have fully implemented, you’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool so that you can get the same good rates as a group that if you’re an employee at a big company you can get right now — which means your premiums will go down.”

In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker, considered by many to be a potential 2016 presidential candidate, distrusted the campaign promises, largely because of the work Mr. Gruber had done for the state’s previous administration, and has long advocated for repealing the law.

In addition to premium rate increases, Mr. Gruber’s work estimated that 100,000 Wisconsinites would be involuntarily dropped from their employer sponsored health insurance also running counter to the President’s claim at the time that if a you liked their health-care policy, you could keep it.

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