Gruber on Obamacare: Some Americans Losing Insurance Plans "Part Of The Calculation"

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Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was grilled by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) over calculations and predictions he made about how many people would lose health insurance.

"You had a moment of clarity and honesty where you said it was a lack of transparency that helps pass Obamacare. And I concur. And I appreciate your honesty," McHenry said to Gruber.

"This was a very significant thing," McHenry said of Obamacare, "and my constituents in North Carolina and according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, 473,000 lost their health insurance because of Obamacare. So, this is perplexing."

"When I think about my constituents, though, did you think that there would be such a large number of folks that would lose their health insurance?" McHenry asked Gruber.

"What I was focused was the net increase in newly insured we had under the law which has been quite substantial," Gruber answered.

"So it's not relevant to your calculation that there would be people that would lose their health insurance?" McHenry asked.

"That was part of the calculation," Gruber admitted.

"So there is churn, would you say?" McHenry quizzed Gruber.

"There's always been a churn," he answered. "I don't recall the exact numbers I modeled but we did model some individuals who would lose existing plans and move to new forms of coverage."

REP. PATRICK McHENRY (R-NC): Dr. Gruber, you know, as everyone knows and American people know when the president said if you like your plan you can keep it it turns out it was the lie of the year. This was a very significant thing and my constituents in North Carolina and according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, 473,000 lost their health insurance because of Obamacare. So, this is perplexing.

You had a moment of clarity and honesty where you said it was a lack of transparency that helps pass Obamacare. And I concur. And I appreciate your honesty. I think it is horrific, though, that you participated in some level on obscuring the truth from the American people in order to pass this bill.

Now, you apologized for that and I thank you for that. The American people hear you loud and clear. And as a matter of morality for you to apologize is really a tough thing to do publicly but I thank you for doing that. When I think about my constituents, though, did you think that there would be such a large number of folks that would lose their health insurance?

JONATHAN GRUBER: I don't know the exact number in North Carolina, but --

McHENRY: Well, it is 473,000 according to the Department of Insurance and Raleigh News and Observer.

GRUBER: What I was focused was the net increase in newly insured we had under the law which has been quite substantial.

McHENRY: So it's not relevant to your calculation that there would be people that would lose their health insurance?

GRUBER: That was part of the calculation.

McHENRY: It was. So there is churn, would you say?

GRUBER: There's always been a churn.

McHENRY: Would you think it was such a large number that would lose their plans, though?

GRUBER: I don't recall the exact numbers I modeled but we did model some individuals who would lose existing plans and move to new forms of coverage.

McHENRY: I think you anticipated -- you're obviously very well prepared. I think you anticipated this question this question. Is it similar or dissimilar to the number that you calculated?

GRUBER: I don't know of the national estimate of how many people have lost health insurance so I don't know how to compare to what I projected.

McHENRY: Was there discussion at senior levels in the White House and HHS about this potential loss of people's health insurance plans?

GRUBER: I don't recall whether they were when I was there. I can't speak when I wasn't.

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