The Daily Caller posted the third video Wednesday of the MIT professor, this time speaking at the University of Rhode Island in 2012.
Gruber was discussing the law’s so-called “Cadillac tax,” which he said was helped along by “hero” then-Sen. John Kerry. The “Cadillac tax” mandates that insurance companies be taxed rather than policy holders. He said that taxing individuals would have been “politically impossible,” but taxing the companies worked because Americans didn’t understand the difference.
“So basically it’s the same thing,” he said. “We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
The new video follows a second tape played on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” Tuesday that showed Gruber speaking on a similar topic at an October 2013 event at Washington University in St. Louis.
Referring to the “Cadillac tax,” he said: “They proposed it and that passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”
This was similar to remarks he made at a separate event around the same time in 2013. In a clip of that event, Gruber said the “lack of transparency” in the way the law was crafted was critical. “Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,” he said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, traveling with President Obama in Burma, said he disagrees with Gruber’s comments.
Earnest claimed the bill was written in a transparent way and that it’s Republicans who aren’t transparent about how they would replace it.
After the first tape surfaced — prompting Republican outrage — Gruber went on MSNBC to express regret. On Tuesday, he said: “I was speaking off the cuff and I basically spoke inappropriately, and I regret having made those comments.”
But after Fox News played the second tape, GOP lawmakers said it proves what they’ve been saying all along.
“It confirms people’s greatest fear about the government,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News on Wednesday. “Remember, it was Nancy Pelosi who said first you have to pass it before you get to find out what’s in it.”
As Congress returns for a lame-duck session, on the heels of midterm elections where Republicans won control of the Senate, GOP leaders say they will try once again next year to repeal the law — or least change its most controversial provisions.