Tom Keene Talks to Economist Jonathan Gruber

Ken Prewitt talks with economist Jonathan Gruber of MIT on the Affordable Care Act, why Obamacare is complicated, and graphic novels

What is the biggest misperception that people might have of Obamacare?
The biggest misconception is that this is some sort of socialism or federal takeover of the health-care system. The whole idea of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is to build on the existing, private health-insurance system.
A lot of us just shrugged our shoulders at the Supreme Court ruling. Is there a better way to respond?
I think that is the reaction of the majority of Americans, and I think there are two ways to respond. The first way to respond is to learn more. This is a complicated piece of legislation and most people don’t understand it. And I think it is beholden on us as educated consumers of public policy to learn more. I have tried to do my part. I have actually written a graphic novel, a comic book, that actually explains the health-care law.
It’s called Fifty Shades of MIT, right?
It is an exciting title—Health Care Reform. The other thing is to be patient. OK, this is a major law. It is a big change in our system. It doesn’t even really kick in until 2014. And it is even then going to take a couple years. We have tried it in Massachusetts and it worked. Let’s see if it can work nationally. To run around like chickens with our heads cut off saying it is not going to work, when a) it hasn’t gone into place, and b) we have seen it work in a state—well, I say let’s give it a chance to work.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.