An online video has surfaced in which MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the top outside experts consulted during Obamacare's drafting, appears to endorse the view advanced by conservatives that the law's tax credits would not be available for people using HealthCare.gov.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, published the video on Thursday evening. The organization said it was shot at a January 2012 event hosted by Noblis, a non-profit research group, at which Gruber spoke.
During a Q&A session, Gruber was asked in the video about Obamacare's health insurance exchanges. He said he thought the federal government "wants to squeeze the states" to set up their own exchanges by being slow to develop the federal website, which would be the back-stop for any state that didn't establish one. He then moved onto the tax-credit issue.
"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. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill," he said in the video. "So you’re essentially saying to your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges and that they'll do it. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this."
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