Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo ripped into Johnathan Gruber — the architect of Obamacare — for more than 10 minutes Tuesday during a very contentious interview.
Gruber, who infamously called the American people “stupid,” alleged that "Obamacare has actually saved people money" and that press coverage of the ailing law has been completely dishonest.
Instead, Gruber said the rising costs of health care were due to a transition in the health care market, claiming that health care giants like United HealthCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield are pulling out of Obamacare because “this is a new and innovative insurance market for which they’re not prepared."
"They want to offer expensive, broad-network products that people don’t want,” Gruber said of insurance companies.
When confronted by Bartiromo with the fact that health care premiums are set to skyrocket an average of 25 percent nationwide in 2017 — even higher in states like Arizona, which is set to see an increase of 116 percent — Gruber contended the high increases are because states have been fighting the law.
“You take a state like Arizona and other states where it’s high, that’s because these states have fought the law rather than supported it,” Gruber said.
On the other hand, Gruber said that if you look at states that have “behaved” how the Obama administration wants them to — citing states that have expanded Medicare — then you would see that “premiums are very much under control."
"It’s very hard to make the case that you’re making knowing what the reality is, and the reality is families cannot afford Obamacare,” Bartiromo replied. “And the reality is premiums for families across the country have skyrocketed, and even if you’re in a plan with your company like you say so many people are, companies are not hiring more workers because they are being forced to provide health care.”
“So the plan 100 percent is being looked at as way too expensive,” she added. “That’s not press. That’s not speculation. This is what families and businesses are saying."
Gruber, however, rejected Bartiromo’s statement, instead saying that she was not speaking in actual facts, alleging that health insurance premiums are actually going down — not up.
Bartiromo, however, reiterated her point, saying that employers across the country say they’re not hiring or they’re only hiring part-time workers because they cannot afford the absurd cost of health care under Obamacare.
Still, Gruber didn’t budge.
"Maria, once again, please don’t use the word fact, because you’re not saying facts, you’re saying anecdotes,” he said, adding that premiums are growing at “historically low rates."
“I’ll tell you what a fact is,” Bartiromo shot back. “The fact is, economic growth is 2 percent or lower. And the fact is, one of the reasons that economic growth is as low as it is is because businesses are not hiring workers and are not doing activity because of the cost of Obamacare. That’s a fact."
Still, Gruber continued to reject Bartiromo’s points.
“Economic growth is the rapidest it’s been in eight years,” he claimed.
After some back-and-forth about the stagnant American economy, Bartiromo went on to grill Gruber over his October 2013 comments about the American people, when he said the authors of the law took advantage of the “stupid” American public.
Afterward, Bartiromo again questioned Gruber why CEOs would come on to her show and flatly explain they aren’t hiring people because of the costs of health care under Obamacare if Obamacare was actually helping the health insurance market and not destroying the entire American health care system.
"Who cares if some CEO comes onto the show and tells you,” Gruber answered and then went on to state that the American people should dismiss claims made by CEOs and people like Bartiromo and instead focus on “data” about the law.
He pointed people to look at information from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has released detailed reports about Obamacare, but Bartiromo was having none of it: "I don’t need to go to the Kaiser Foundation when I know what my friend is paying for health care --$1,000 and it was $500.”
When Gruber again told Bartiromo that she wasn’t speaking factually, she finally had enough.
"We want to have people who are actually getting affected by the law, not someone in their ivory tower telling us what this should be, but in fact what people are seeing on the ground because they’re the ones that are being affected by the law,” Bartiromo said. “That’s why that’s fact."