Obamacare architect slams Republicans' American Health Care Act as a "scam"

Jonathan Gruber, who was the target of a GOP smear campaign himself, is speaking out against a bad bill

By Matthew Rozsa
March 14, 2017 3:50PM (UTC)
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(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Jonathan Gruber, the Affordable Care Act consultant whose secretly recorded remarks about "the stupidity of the American voter" made him a right-wing target in 2014, is now denouncing the Republicans' repeal-and-replace bill as a "scam."

"Any replace[ment] that they would pass would result in millions of Americans losing health insurance, would result in higher premiums, and would result in a huge redistribution from the poor to the rich," Gruber told Boston Herald Radio's "Herald Drive" show with John Sapochetti and Rick Shaffer. "Now if they are happy with that and they are willing to do that, I wouldn’t call that a replacement, I would call that a scam."


Gruber's denunciation was echoed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who declared on Capitol Hill that the Congressional Budget Office's estimate that the bill would throw 24 million people off of their insurance "is a remarkable figure. It speaks so eloquently to the cruelty of the bill the speaker calls an act of mercy."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters on Capitol Hill that "the Republican hand-picked head of the CBO has confirmed what Democrats have been saying. Ten years from today, if Trump and the Republicans have their way, 24 million Americans would not have health insurance and 58 million, 10 years from now, would not have health coverage. That's un-American. That's wrong."

Even Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has a reputation as one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, denounced the Republican bill on Monday as "morally wrong," saying "to do what they're doing right now is absolutely unconscionable. It's just awful . . . There's got to be a moral compass inside somebody."


While Republicans continue to try to discredit the CBO's report, a secret White House analysis of the Republican bill came back with a projection even higher than that produced by the CBO. It believes that 26 million Americans would lose health care coverage as a result of the bill.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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