Affordable Care Act architect: repealing law would be a 'disaster'

Economist Jonathan Gruber says the act known as Obamacare is, "part of the fabric of the American health care system right now."
5:36 | 03/26/19

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Transcript for Affordable Care Act architect: repealing law would be a 'disaster'
Everyone on Devin Dwyer with ABC news live in Washington with special coverage on the trump administration's decision to embrace a federal district court ruling calling. For the end to Obama care joining me now is Jonathan Gruber MIT economist who was one of the architects of the law. Jonathan thanks so much for coming great to see you again why that your reaction. To this announcement by the term administration overnight. Ando what it would mean if the court would in fact suddenly strike down law. Well it would be a disaster. For the American citizens look the Affordable Care Act is part of the fabric of the American healthcare system. More than twenty million Americans. Are getting health insurance covers the right and he expanded Medicaid program or the state exchanges and instead up on before Iraq. But more importantly millions more. Without benefit from the fact that insurers can no longer discriminate against the second our insurance markets let's be clear. A fort 2014. Were the only nation in the world. We're insurers could turn you down for insurance or charge you a hundred times more just as you were sick pets on insurance and that ended on January when 2014. We return those battle days that this law is overturned. Now Republicans. Jonathan argue that. I have argued for some time that they. Want to keep those protections they want to do this whole thing differently though they tried as you know and failed to legislatively repeal obamacare but is. Help us understand what would be so wrong I think it is the trotman trump administration's arguing. With the courts simply forcing the issue here pulling the plug on obamacare. He. In the courts forcing congress to take a fresh look at this right now do would that be what won't be so wrong with that. We'll be so wrong with that is congress hats knowing it's the Republicans have no place. There is no repeal replace its just repeal. And Republicans were forced to show their hand to couple years ago and have replaced plan. Better place plan was to just literally repeal plus do more. Not just liberty insurance commercial twenty million Americans but also kick off another ten million Americans can exist in Medicaid plan. So there are literally is no alternative out there. Now you can go to the lack. Single Payer and that's aside Democrats are saying. But you know that's makes makes the Affordable Care Act battle truly. Obviously huge had a political obstacles clear political act boom to the right. Look there's nothing to the right it works Republicans had not proposed alternative. They say things like yet we'd like T get Bernard preexisting conditions exclusions. And have a plan to do so it's empty rhetoric. And basically saying let's start over is to return to the life to the penalties we had a 42014. You know we say you are we call you an architect. Of the Affordable Care Act Jonathan you also has an economist warned the champions. On the idea of individual mandate you advice Mitt Romney the Republican governor. Of Massachusetts about that very idea that was really a Republican idea we. Don't you find it in quite ironic that Republicans now are are the ones that wanted to eliminate the very idea that they once embraced that's sort of the heart of this whole look. Here's the thing. Ironic doesn't even begin. Look the it's the individual mandate and the core what became obamacare. With the Republican alternative to Hillary and Bill Clinton's healthcare polls and early 1990s. Governor Mitt Romney realize this model could work C adopted. President Obama to to his credit had camped against the tax when he was running. Came into office and sought was a model that it works successfully Massachusetts. Cutting her uninsured rate by two thirds and he said hey it's a model that works let's do it I don't care it's Republican idea Republicans overnight literally overnight. Switch from priestly individual mandate to saying it with the devil's work. There is no explanation other than pure political math these. In of course that individual mandate that was at the center of this whole discussion from the beginning way back. In 20092010. And was was of course the crux of the federal district court's decision striking down the law on its entire news said that provision. It was instrumental in making an unconstitutional here so we'll see where that goes on appeal but want to ask you before that you go Jonathan. What advice she might have to to our viewers to people were concerned. About hearing a little bit about this case what they should do they rely and the plan they like the provisions what's your advice to folks right now. Sort of made uneasy by all of us. Well the first season vices become home mom I think most projections are even if the worst case happens and it goes the Supreme Court that won't be there for twenty tree on me. Arm but the second piece of advice is that there's and long literature which shows that the Supreme Court response to public opinion. They are not just a legislative body they're actually they're not just that deliberate judicial body. Actually terrible public thanks. And I think if people really want to keep the coverage they like they need to make it known that they had an idea obamacare. That they like the plans they have and that it's important in this law not go away. Jonathan Gruber MIT economists one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act which is now. Under fire in the federal court system and obviously huge story with impacts. On millions of Americans that will continue to follow here Jonathan thank you so much for common in appreciated. Thank you for what a pleasure thank you sir and thank you for watching this journey BC's live on Devin Dwyer Washington stay tuned for continuing coverage.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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