(CNSNews.com) – Obamacare architect MIT professor Jonathan Gruber on Sunday blamed the problems with Obamacare on President Donald Trump, telling “Fox News Sunday” that before Trump was elected, there were no counties in the U.S. that did not have an insurer.
Host Chris Wallace pointed out that in Iowa, only one insurance company remains in all but five countries throughout the state and that Medica is thinking of dropping out, which means there will be no insurance companies for the Obamacare marketplace in all but five counties in Iowa.
“Look, and whose fault is this? Before President Trump was elected, there were no counties in America that did not have an insurer,” Gruber said.
“Wait, wait, you’re going to blame the problems with Obamacare on President Trump?” Wallace asked.
“We have a situation under Obamacare, where there’s a one-time premium increase last year that made up for the fact that insurers massively underpriced in the first two years. The problem was fixed,” Gruber said.
“Profits were trending positively. Insurers were saying positive things about their ability to stay in the exchange, succeed. Then you have a president who comes in, undercuts open enrollment, doesn't honor the obligations this law makes to insurers, and as a result, premiums are going up and insurers are exiting. You can look at the quotes from insurers themselves,” Gruber added..
Former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove disputed Gruber’s claim that Trump is to blame for Obamcare failing, saying Gruber blamed it all on the insurers last week:
“Look, last week, Dr. Gruber he blamed it all on the insurers, because -- but they guessed wrong. Really, actually, the government told them to consider that they would going to get a lot more healthier, younger people than they actually got in any single year that this program has been in effect.
“He said, Trump stopped the ads. Trump stopped the ads on the 26th of January, and the end of the enrollment period was the 31st. Really the problems of ObamaCare are going to be solved by four days worth of TV ads? Really?
“He also said the executive order said not to enforce the individual mandate and that that caused problems, disruption in the force. Well, President Obama delayed the individual mandate for two years and the employer mandate for a year,
“And finally, he said, oh -- he talked about the cost-sharing payments and that caused distress among the insurance companies. Well, the insurance companies are getting the cost-sharing payments despite the fact that last year, a federal judge declared them illegal. President Trump said, I’ll continue to pay them until the issue is resolved.
“Last October, Dr. Gruber said the program is working exactly as we designed it. Now, it was designed, as he said earlier, with the stupidity of the American people built into their calculations on how to sell it, but it is a broken system, and it’s going to go under.”
Gruber said Obamacare was a system that “was not working perfectly” but “was very fixable.”
“The law could absolutely be improved, but the question is, instead of improving it, why do you take steps to undercut it and then cost 24 million people to lose health insurance?” Gruber asked.