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Jon Gruber in 2011: Yes, Subsidies Are Available to People Purchasing Health Insurance on the Federal Exchange

Back in 2011 when Jon Gruber was writing Health Care Reform: The Graphic Novel he assumed that subsidies were available to all purchasing on any exchange--whether a state-initiated §1311 exchange, a joint exchange, or a federally-initiated §1321 exchange did not matter: families will pay no more than 9.5% of their income to purchase health insurance--not families living in states that have established §1311 exchanges: families full stop:

2014 11 13 Gruber 1 Scan Nov 13 2014 2 46 PM pdf 1 page

2014 11 13 Gruber 1 Scan Nov 13 2014 2 46 PM pdf 1 page

2014 11 13 Gruber 1 Scan Nov 13 2014 2 46 PM pdf 1 page

2014 11 13 Gruber 2 Scan Nov 13 2014 2 47 PM pdf 1 page

The truly remarkable thing about Halbig/King is that conservatives care much more than liberals do that the health exchanges actually work. Health exchanges are a last-ditch conservative attempt to keep private health-insurance markets from collapsing under the weight of increasing adverse selection and decreasing willingness to provide a large tax subsidy for employer-sponsored insurance. If the exchanges fail, the liberals try again in another decade with single-payer--Medicare for all--in order to attain near-universal coverage. If the exchanges fail, conservatives are out of arrows.

I have never understood why conservatives interested in health policy have not drawn a line in the sand here--have not said to their political masters: "Yes, we know that you have a strong partisan interest in destroying the signature accomplishment of a Black Democratic president. But the substantive policy stakes are too high."