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Sebelius: Americans Have Low ‘Financial Literacy’

Curtis Kalin
By Curtis Kalin | December 3, 2014 | 9:36 AM EST

Former HHS Secretary and famed website designer, Kathleen Sebelius has come up with a reason many Americans still oppose Obamacare, and it sounds like she borrowed it from Jonathan Gruber.

In an interview with USA Today, Sebelius first distanced herself from MIT professor and Obamacare architect saying, "I have no idea what Dr. Gruber is going to say, but frankly I don't think that it's relevant in terms of his personal opinions of what happened.”

She also tried to explain away the connection between Gruber himself and the law he helped write. She argued the only reason Gruber’s comments made headlines was because, "Every sentence, every syllable, every misstep, every opportunity to have adversaries of this law say, 'See, we told you,' is leaped upon."

She then echoed the very same sentiment that got Gruber into trouble:

"A lot of Americans have no idea what insurance is about," she said. "I think the financial literacy of a lot of people, particularly people who did not have insurance coverage or whose employers chose their coverage and kind of present it to them, is very low — and that has been a sort of stunning revelation. It's not because people hid it from folks. It's because this is a complicated product."

While Sebelius says she doesn’t know Dr. Gruber, she certainly has the same arrogant view of the American people as he does. She doesn’t paint with as broad a brush as Gruber, but she makes the point that those Americans who don’t have insurance, namely poorer Americans, have a low “financial literacy,” which was a “stunning revelation” to her.

Regardless of the relative literacy or general IQ of an average American, possessing these kind of paternalistic viewpoints makes those that write our laws susceptible to committing the kind of deception Dr. Gruber admits to: Feeling as though it is your duty to administer your policy solution on unsuspecting Americans, regardless of their feelings to the contrary. Defending a wholesale deception based on the public’s lack of knowledge in comparison to yours. This is a dangerous viewpoint for policymakers to have and it breeds laws like Obamacare.

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