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Was Jonathan Gruber right about voters?

To the editor: Let's get real about what MIT economist Jonathan Gruber said about the Affordable Care Act. It was not politically correct, but it was true. ("'Grubergate' shows the sad state of debate on Obamacare," Op-Ed, Dec. 9)

He suggested that the American public might be stupid because people would have objected if financial charges under Obamacare were called "taxes" rather than some other name.

The fact is that Republicans act as though taxes — the lifeblood of a free and democratic nation — were original sin. This demagoguery, whether due to ignorance or political disingenuousness, has caused millions of Americans to view all "taxes" as some sort of government criminality rather than the price of a civilized society.

Gruber merely noted the obvious — that the word "taxes" has become a third rail in politics.

Eliot Samulon, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Reading op-ed article author Theda Skocpol's premise that the remarks by Gruber were wrong, I get the sense that of those involved in developing the Affordable Care Act, Gruber was the only one who was candid and authentic.

Furthermore, she says that the law was thoroughly vetted, understood and supported by policymakers. Really ?

In addition, Skocpol states, "The taxes and subsidies that helped fund this major expansion of health insurance coverage were well known to supporters and opponents alike." That statement relates to the case now before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the subsidies should come only from the state, as the law says, and not the federal government.

Does anyone think that may be problematic for the continuation of the Affordable Care Act? Or am I just being stupid?

Terry Williams, Valencia

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