At the end of a week-long visit to Asia and Australia US President Obama addressed the issue of whether he misled the public intentionally so that he could get his signature healthcare reform legislation passed. His reply: “No. I did not.”
He coolly denied that the ACA was marketed deceptively and rejected outright negative remarks made by one of the consultants to the plan, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. Gruber had said that some aspects of the plan were designed to take advantage of the “stupidity” of voters.
“The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run,” Obama declared at a press conference held in Brisbane, Australia.
Obama was adamant in his denial of deception, saying that it would have been impossible to have hidden any provisions contained in the bill from the public eye, given the nature and intensity of the press coverage of the bill as it was being drafted and debated in Congress.
“I would just advise every press outlet here: Pull up every clip and every story. I think it’s fair to say there was not a provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated and was fully transparent,” the president declared. “It was a tough debate.”