Jonathan Turley: The Purging of Professor Gruber: ACA Architect Disavowed in the Beltway
It appears that friends (albeit a dwindling number) of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber may soon have to put his face on milk cartons to locate the economist. After a series of frank but embarrassing statements on the strategies behind the Administration’s passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Gruber has moved from the status of “disfavored” to “disavowed” to “disappeared.” This week, Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi expressed a complete lack of knowledge of who Gruber is, was, or will be — even though she previously cited his work and he was paid $400,000 as one of the architects of Obamacare and has made over $2 million from HHS. Such roles are often difficult for scholars in moving between the political and academic worlds, but it is rare to find an academic become such an issue in a national debate.
Gruber had already previously attracted controversy with statements where he endorsed the theory at the heart of the recent decisions in Halbig and King by challengers to the ACA: to wit, that the federal funding provision was a quid pro quo device to reward states with their own exchanges and to punish those that force the creation of federal exchanges. That issue will now be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Gruber caused uproar when, after he had denounced the theory as “nutty” during the arguments in Halbig and King, he was shown later to have embraced that same interpretation. Gruber has become a major liability in the litigation. Gruber then was back in the news with an equally startling admission that the Obama Administration (and Gruber) succeeded in passing the ACA only by engineering a “lack of transparency” on the details and relying on “the stupidity of the American voter.” Now a new videotape has surfaced from Gruber speaking at the University of Rhode Island in 2012 and expressing the same contempt for the intelligence of citizens — suggesting again that they were hoodwinked to “the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” In another view taken from at an October 2013 event at Washington University in St. Louis, Gruber also refers to the “Cadillac tax,” and says “They proposed it and that passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.” His comments of working in Massachusetts (with Mitt Romney) are no less insulting to an array of people.
That is when the Beltway machine kicked into high gear to erase all memory of a professor named Gruber. If this trend continues, we will need dental records just to confirm his identity.
The Washington Post noted after Pelosi’s press conference that she cited Gruber’s work by name in support of Obamacare:
PELOSI: We’re not finished getting all of our reports back from CBO, but we’ll have a side by side to compare. But our bill brings down rates. I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange.
Either they don’t know who he is or they defend his indefensible actions. Some have even tried to make this Mitt Romney’s fault by pointing out that he was a consultant on Massachusetts’ health care law. Some of the defenders don’t seem to mind that they have been fed incredible lies and propaganda. The lack of transparency is/was an asset to them.
Gruber sounds just like Holder and Obama have sounded, the lack of transparency is systemic from Fast and Furious, the IRS, Benghazi and all of the other lies this administration thinks we are stupid enough to believe. But we need to learn from this. We are seeing what the elites really think of us and what they are really doing to us. Know the tactics, educate yourself and others so that no elite can assume you are stupid, ever again. The DOJ planned on using this man as an expert witness in court when defending the many lawsuits against the ACA.
Someone needs to explain to Professor Gruber that ‘Stupid’ is not knowing that you are being video taped for future reference.