In the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Halbig case, the court held that under Obamacare as drafted, federal subsidies in the form of tax credits only are available to individuals who purchase on state exchanges, not on the federal exchange.

The Court in Halbig relied on the wording of the statute and its plain meaning. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, found that there might be an ambiguity, and that there were possible other interpretations.

Jonathan Gruber, Professor at MIT, widely is regarded as the architect of both Romneycare and Obamacare.

In 2012, Gruber gave a speech in which he stated that the law clearly provided for tax credits only if the individual purchased on a state exchange:

“I think what’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”

He goes out to point out the politics of the provision, which would put pressure on states to make sure their own citizens received subsidies by opening state exchanges.

The excerpt appears at 31:30 of the full video.

This is important because this reading of the law has been dismissed by critics of the Halbig decision as absurd and even dishonest.

Not according to the Architect of Obamacare.

(Note: A reader who wishes to remain anonymous tipped me off to this video, which he saw linked and commented himself on in the comment section of other blogs, such as Volokh Conspiracy and Forbes.)

Update: Gruber two days ago on Chris Matthews show claimed that the very explanation he discussed in 2012 was just a “typo” and that it’s “criminal” to suggest, as he did in 2012, that the law worked the way the Halbig court said it did. (h/t @AG_Conservative) Credibility is a terrible thing to lose just to save a law from its normal, natural meaning as written.

The New Republic is trying to salvage this public relations disaster for Democrats, by quoting Gruber today (7-25-2014) as follows:

I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it.


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