The Obama administration wanted to get rid of the “regressive, inefficient and expensive tax subsidy provided for employer provider health insurance” under Obamacare, but it turned out to be a politically expensive move, Jonathan Gruber said at a 2011 Pioneer Institute lecture on health care.
Instead, administration officials decided to mislead the American public by “mislabeling” the so-called “Cadillac tax” as a tax on health insurance plans, the Obamacare architect revealed. It seems that the move worked, and the law is well on its way to removing the “terrible” subsidy for good.
"It turns out politically it's really hard to get rid of," Gruber says of the subsidy in a sixth video that was circulating Friday. "And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans."
In 2010, then-White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, "I would disagree with your notion that it is a tax on an individual since the proposal is written as a tax on an insurance company that offers a plan.”
Gruber also explained that the “Cadillac tax” was written in such a way that it would only impact about 8 percent of insurance plans at first, but would basically get rid of the “exclusion for employer sponsored plans” over 20 years.
Unions and employers who objected to the tax down the road would then be stuck because, "at that point if they want to get rid of it they're going to have to fill a trillion dollar hole in the deficit...It's on the books now.”
"This was the only political way we were ever going to take on one of the worst public policies in America,” he added.
Watch Gruber's comments at around the 30:30 mark: