Gruber: ‘A Larger Mandate Penalty’ Will Make Obamacare ‘Work Better’

By Eric Scheiner | October 27, 2016 | 11:08am EDT
MIT economist Jonathan Gruber (AP Photo)

( - One of Obamacare's architects, Jonathan Gruber, says the government run healthcare plan doesn’t need to be “fixed” it just needs “a larger mandate penalty.”

Speaking on CNN Wednesday, the MIT economics professor defended Obamacare and its price increases for participating healthcare plans across the country.

 “Look, once again - there is no sense in which this has to be fixed, the law is working as designed,” Gruber said. “However, it could work better – and I think probably the most important thing experts would agree on is that we need a larger mandate penalty.”

“We have individuals who are essentially free-riding on the system, they're essentially waiting until they get sick and then getting health insurance. The whole idea of this plan, which was pioneered in Massachusetts, was that the individual mandate penalty would bring those people into the system and have them participate.”

“The penalty right now is probably too low and I think that’s something that ideally we would fix,” Gruber added.

When the Supreme Court ruled President Obama’s Affordable Care Act constitutional, they did so by claiming the individual mandate payment for not having insurance was a tax instead of a penalty.

In his majority opinion, Justice John Roberts wrote, “The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

CNSNews Reader,

The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism—not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.

CNSNews has emerged as the conservative media’s lynchpin for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.

Donate today to help CNSNews continue to report on topics that the liberal media refuse to touch. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.

And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.

— The CNSNews Team



Sign up for our CNSNews Daily Newsletter to receive the latest news.