Posted at 8:53 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2014
Megan McArdle defends the spotty memories of Obamacare supporters, Jonathan Gruber and Jonathan Cohn, regarding the issue of whether Obamacare only allowed subsidies to be given out on state exchanges.
“But in this case, I am not stretching to my utmost to give Messrs. Gruber and Cohn the benefit of the doubt. I said that I thought Gruber was being sincere because, well, I genuinely think he’s being sincere. I believe this even more strongly of Cohn, who has always been fair and honorable in his analysis and our few personal interactions.”
“At least some of the liberal analysts who were intimately familiar with the details of the law did indeed believe that premium subsidies would only be available on state exchanges. But I disagree that Cohn and Gruber were being dishonest when they said otherwise. I think they just forgot.”
“This is particularly true when there is an answer people very much want to get to. It’s called hindsight bias: Once we know the ‘correct’ answer, we tend to believe that we would have figured that out even without being told.”
“Misremembering is not lying … a memory that bolsters your preferred narrative is not one you’re going to ferociously interrogate. This is just human nature. It doesn’t mean that Cohn and Gruber are being dishonest; it just means they’re human.”