Gruber: 'Obamacare Not Collapsing,' System 'Largely Works'

October 26, 2016

The architect of Obamacare, economics professor Jonathan Gruber, praised his creation on Wednesday and said that it is largely working for Americans.

Gruber was interviewed by CNN's Carol Costello as health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act are expected to skyrocket across the country next year.

"But look at what's happening now. Premiums are going to rise 22 percent for some people who are enrolled in Obamacare," Costello said. "Not only that, but some people's deductibles are so extraordinarily high, it would be silly for them to go to the doctor because they can't afford paying their deductible."

"First of all, the 22 percent increase, let's remember who that applies to. That applies to a very small fraction of people who have to buy insurance without the subsidies that are available," Gruber said. "Eighty-five percent of people buying insurance on these exchanges get subsidies, and for those people this premium increase doesn't affect them. Now for those remaining people, that is a problem and that's something we need to address, but it's not a crisis. It doesn't mean the system's collapsing."

After Costello asked about fixing the health care law, Gruber said her premise was wrong.

"There's no sense it has to be fixed," Gruber said, adding that the law was working as it was designed. Gruber did say that he wanted the penalty for the individual mandate to be higher.

Gruber also complained about health insurance companies leaving the system, saying the media was overhyping the exodus of companies that are willing to participate in the Obamacare exchanges.

Gruber denied that the law would be changed, no matter who wins the presidential election.

"It's a system which largely works," Gruber said. "You now have 20 million Americans or more who are now getting insurance that they like."