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HomeNewsPoliticsUnder Pressure, Jonathan Gruber Dropped Bomb On White House

Under Pressure, Jonathan Gruber Dropped Bomb On White House


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economics professor Jonathan Gruber are sworn in before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a hearing about the Affordable Care Act Tuesday. Gruber, who was a consultant paid by the authors of the Affordable Care Act and the Massachusetts universal health care program, called voters stupid and said that ObamaCare would not have passed if lawmakers had really known what was inside the legislation during an academic conference earlier this year.(Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

If ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber felt slighted by President Obama, who previously threw him under the bus when he called him “some adviser who never worked on our staff,” he sure got him back during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Tuesday.

Under tough questioning by North Carolina Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, Gruber admitted that kicking working Americans off of their health insurance plans “was part of the calculation” when designing ObamaCare.

“I concluded there would be churn in the market the entire time,” Gruber said. “We did model that some individuals would lose their existing plans and move to new forms of coverage… I don’t know the national estimate for how many people lost health insurance, so I don’t know how it compares to what I projected.”

Gruber, the MIT economist who made headlines after being caught on video bragging that Democrats used a “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter” to pass the bill, went on to confirm that he told the White House that people would lose their plans.

“I was present for discussion of those numbers and interpretation of what they meant in terms of how the law would affect individuals,” Gruber said.

The questioning from McHenry was meant to highlight the fact over 200,000 people have lost their plans in North Carolina, and to discuss the law’s negative impact on increasing premiums and deductibles for the majority of Americans.

“The Affordable Care Act does not solve the problem of cost control,” Gruber flatly responded.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who repeatedly hammered Gruber over the total amount of money received from taxpayers, including for federal and state reforms, also railed against Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. The agency head, who is responsible for publishing ObamaCare enrollment numbers, was previously caught double counting dental plans and engaging in various dubious numbers counting tactics aimed to inflate the success of the program.

When asked by Rep. Jordan, Tavenner couldn’t provide an accurate total number even now.

“You don’t have those numbers, that’s okay,” Rep. Jordan said to Tavenner. “Even if you did we might not believe it based upon past experiences.”

Tavenner also refused to disclose whether the administration is telling consumers that the federal subsidies may not remain, leaving Americans with a hefty cost they haven’t anticipated paying. Because the administration allegedly broke the law, which specifically prohibits subsidies on the federal exchange, many who purchased plans on the federal exchange will be in for a rude awakening if the Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s decision.

A powerful U.S. appeals court invalidated ObamaCare subsidies for health insurance obtained through the federally-run HealthCare.gov on July 22. The ruling was a major blow to the president’s signature health care law, and all but ensured the constitutionality of the law would once again be decided in the U.S. Supreme Court.

On November 7, the highest court in the land decided they would hear the case, which many predict will be a far more challenging case for the government than the individual mandate proved to be.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the outgoing chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also came down on Tavenner, accusing her of allegedly inflating enrollment numbers and “cooking the books.”

Meanwhile, Gruber never truly offered a substantive apology, but rather repeatedly apologized for making comments in an effort to make himself look smarter than he truly is on the subject of politics.

“I sincerely apologize for conjecturing with a tone of expertise and for doing so in such a disparaging fashion,” Gruber said. “I knew better. I know better. I’m embarrassed and I’m sorry.”

As if talking to a child who didn’t fully appreciate the significance of his actions, Gruber took instruction from Chairman Issa on the issue Americans truly expected him to apologize for.

“You made a series of troubling statements that were not only an insult to the American people, but revealed a pattern of intentional misleading [of] the public about the true impact and nature of ObamaCare.”

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md), the ranking top Democrat on the committee, only criticized Gruber for giving opponents of the law a “PR gift.”

“You wrapped it up with a bow,” Cummings said, but stressed Gruber’s outrageous insult “has nothing to do with the substance of this issue.”

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

Latest comments

  • The majority of Americans never wanted this monstrosity. It was built on calculated lies, told repeatedly, and it is sustained on lies.

    What’s more – it doesn’t make anything cheaper AT ALL. I tried for hours to find a health insurance plan for less then $500/month and COULD NOT DO IT. I’m a 28 year old healthy female. No reason I should be paying that much. I never even go to the doctors. They are counting on the healthy to pay for the old and unhealthy. Nope, not me.. not falling for it. I’d rather just take the $100 penalty.

    Why can’t it be more like auto insurance? Private market.. easy to get quotes. I can go online and get a $25/month auto quote from Insurance Panda, but when it comes to health insurance, I use the government’s SCAM website and have to pay out the eyeballs. WOW

    This is a bad law, and should be repealed… but Obama and the Democrats won’t hear of it because Obamacare was never about health care, it was and is about power and control.

    • Insurance company, especially auto, is the biggest scam in American history. But your right about how getting health insurance should work. And this “obamacare” has existed for a long time. Remember when it was Romneycare??? Guess who’s behind it?? Zionists. The truth hurts.

    • So when you get breast cancer the rest of us will pay for it. I am sure you will not pay it off but will file bankruptcy. Please turn in you HB1 visa and go back to India before we all incur you health debts. At least in India after you are gang raped you can use thier universal health care.

  • All of this is just an act. These elitists think that American slave cattle are stupid and all they want is more money. And where did all these dual citizens come from and why is it allowed? Arrest warrants enforced by militias is the only way forward for America.

  • Donna Patel is right. We should be able to purchase what coverage we need, both for health insurance and car insurance.

    Car insurance: you buy the coverage you need for the vehicle you drive. You can choose what that coverage should be.

    Health insurance: You buy a policy that fits your needs, and should not have to purchase coverage for things that you will never need. Case in point: I had a hysterectomy, cannot have children, yet under ACA, I MUST have maternity coverage – I MUST have coverage for children I will never have. And the best part is…….Ready? My husband MUST also carry maternity and child coverage on his policy.

    • Well i don’t want to pay property taxes for schools. I don’t have any f—c_king kids why should I pay. Who paid for your hysterectomy ? That is about 12k did you pay that out of pocket??????

  • With all that power when President Obama came to office, why didn’t he just expand Medicaid for the poor by another 30% – seems like that would have taken about a day to vote on and another day to implement?

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