Wall Street Journal: “Jonathan Gruber, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist whose comments about the health-care law touched off a political furor, worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape the law, previously unreleased emails show.”
Healthcare consultant Jonathan Gruber “has been subpoenaed for documents related to his work on the healthcare law after refusing to give details about his compensation to House lawmakers,” The Hill reports.
“The decision follows a tense hearing earlier in the week in which Gruber, infamous for his comment that the “stupidity of the American voter” helped ObamaCare to pass, repeatedly declined to say how much he was paid as a consultant on the law.”
“Are you stupid?”
— Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), quoted by TPM, in his first question to MIT economist Jonathan Gruber at a hearing on Obamacare.
Former Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “disputing the description of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber as an architect of the Affordable Care Act, says she had never met with him and minimized the significance of his controversial comments describing passage of the law,” USA Today reports.
In fact, she says she never met with him.
Said Sebelius: “Maybe he was in a large room; he could have been on a phone call. But in terms of small meetings, discussing policy, that never happened.”
“The controversy over Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s ‘stupidity of the American voter’ comments reignited yesterday, as a powerful Congressional panel summoned the embattled MIT professor to testify in Washington next month,” the Boston Herald reports.
Wonk Wire: Which is dumber: Gruber’s comments of Gruber-gate?
[speech_bubble type=”std” subtype=”a” icon=”pwdome.jpg” name=””]What are the chances that Gruber calls the lawmakers stupid? [/speech_bubble]
Jon Stewart investigates on the Daily Show:
“Republican lawmakers are doubling down on controversial comments from Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber amid an explosion of interest from conservative media,” The Hill reports.
“Remarks that the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ and a ‘lack of transparency’ aided Obamacare’s passage have become a weeklong headache for the White House as GOP lawmakers use them to rally enthusiasm for further attacks on the healthcare law.”
Wonk Wire: Why Gruber’s comments were so stupid
“The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run… I would just advise every press outlet here: Pull up every clip and every story. I think it’s fair to say there was not a provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated and was fully transparent.”
— President Obama, quoted by Politico, on recently-surfaced remarks by MIT professor Jonathan Gruber that suggested taxpayers were intentionally misled on health care taxes.
“In a 2011 conversation about the Affordable Care Act, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the law more commonly known as Obamacare, talked about how the bill would get rid of all tax credits for employer-based health insurance through ‘mislabeling’ what the tax is and who it would hit,” CNN reports.
“In previously posted but only recently noticed speeches, Gruber discusses how those pushing the bill took part in an ‘exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,’ taking advantage of voters’ ‘stupidity’ to create a law that would ultimately be good for them.”
Wonk Wire: Was Jonathan Gruber really the architect of Obamacare?