Obamacare Architect Gruber: ‘Last Year’s Big Premium Increase’ ‘Actually Stabilized the Markets’

AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB
On Tuesday’s “MSNBC Live,” MIT Economics Professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber argued that last year’s 22% premium increase “stabilized” the market and that there are 2-3 million Americans paying high health insurance rates. “Look, before Donald Trump got elected, there were no markets in America, none, that did not have an insurer. Donald Trump has injected massive uncertainty into this market by being uncertain about whether he’ll pay the cost-sharing reduction payments that make health insurance affordable for low-income people, by not enforcing the mandate, by essentially just creating uncertainty about whether the law will even exist. These markets — there’s more we can do to improve these markets, but let’s be clear, Obamacare was not collapsing. Last year’s big premium increase, the 22% increase, actually stabilized the markets. Insurers have reported that after last year’s one-time increase, they’re ready to make money on this market, and it’s going to be successful.” He added, “85% of the people in these exchanges don’t pay these higher premiums. They pay a subsidized rate. So, yes, there are a large number of Americans, maybe 2 million to 3 million, who are paying high rates, and we should do something for them. I