Are Americans too "stupid" to understand Obamacare?
Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist and key adviser in crafting the law, famously said so. He commented at a University of Pennsylvania conference in 2013 that "Americans were too stupid to understand" the law's true costs and that passage of it depended on "the stupidity of the American voter."
The law's opponents seized on his remarks as confirmation that it was enacted through deceit. Last week, House Republicans grilled him about his statements during congressional testimony.
However, it turns out that Professor Gruber is not alone in his opinion. It was shared by 32% of respondents in a recent Rasmussen Poll. They agreed that Americans are too stupid to understand Obamacare's true costs.
An even bigger surprise is in the political leanings of the respondents who were most likely to share Gruber's assessment of Americans. It was endorsed by 46% of those who oppose the law. That compares with the concurrence of only 18% of Obamacare supporters.
While Republicans were equally divided, 62% of Democrats and a plurality of 47% of independents disagreed that Americans are too stupid to understand Obamacare.
Professor Gruber's views can certainly be seen as insulting to many people. But the law's opponents should be careful whom they criticize for holding them.
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