The New York Post’s Kyle Smith does an excellent job of summing up the Jonathan Gruber scandal, and its significance:
Gruber, the MIT economist who (in the words of The New York Times) “put together the basic principles of” ObamaCare and helped Congress “draft the specifics of the legislation” is one of a long line of liberals driven by the belief that the stupidity of the American people is so insurmountable that persuasion is futile. …
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass,” Gruber said, in a newly unearthed 2013 video that went viral last week. …
What’s important about Gruber’s words is that they highlight the fact that ObamaCare isn’t just “controversial” or “divisive” or “hotly debated.” It is fraudulent. Being based on lies, it is illegitimate.
The arguments made in its behalf were tainted. When Democrats including Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and even the elves who run the White House website wanted to push the idea that impartial experts agreed with its sunny projections about ObamaCare, they turned to…Jonathan Gruber.
“Objective Analysis Shows Reform will Help Small Businesses, Lower Premiums for American Families,” said a Nov. 4, 2009 White House blog post that referred to Gruber’s supposedly unbiased opinion.
But, far from being an unbiased expert, Gruber was on the take:
Yet Gruber joined the HHS payroll right after Obama took office, in March 2009. He was paid $392,600 to consult on ObamaCare. Some might call this kind of arrangement “corruption.”
It’s like an expert witness appearing in court to swear that BP never spilled any oil while working as BP’s $400,000-a-year publicist.
But that’s not the only way Gruber personally profited from the Affordable Care Act. After he “pretty much wrote ObamaCare” (liberal health-care journalist Sarah Kliff), he hit the road to promote it — and got paid via funding provided by the same law.
Minnesota paid him $400,000 of ObamaCare money to attend one meeting, print a copy of a report and participate in an e-mail list, The Washington Times reported. Wisconsin and Vermont each paid Gruber $400,000 for similar “work.” West Virginia, Maine, Colorado and Oregon also hired him, though the Times didn’t say how much they paid him. So Gruber has made more than $1.5 million from ObamaCare — that we know of.
But don’t worry, the Government Accountability Office already investigated, and cleared him.
As Smith notes, Gruber wrote numerous op-eds extolling the virtues of Obamacare without disclosing that he was on the take, to the tune of at least $1.5 million.
Byron York writes, “Grubergate shines spotlight on Obamacare profiteers.”
Remember when Nancy Pelosi declared that Obamacare was a jobs bill? “It’s about jobs,” Pelosi said in 2011, during a news conference to mark the first anniversary of passage of the Affordable Care Act. “Does it create jobs? Health insurance reform creates 4 million jobs.”
I had actually forgotten that particular lie.
Like many other promises about Obamacare, that hasn’t worked out. But there is no doubt that Obamacare created a lot of work for at least one American — MIT professor Jonathan Gruber. Gruber’s frank admissions that he and others deceived the public about Obamacare have drawn a lot of attention in recent days. But the money that Gruber made from Obamacare raises yet another issue about his involvement in the project. Throughout 2009 and 2010, he energetically advocated a bill from which he stood to profit. And when it became law, the money rolled in.
Byron recites the same series of federal and state payments that Smith itemizes.
Gruber’s recent admissions might put him in a special category. He is, by his own account, a man who intentionally deceived the public in order to pass a measure from which he stood to profit handsomely.
Someone–Gruber for sure, maybe others in the Obama administration–deserves to go to jail for this. The Obama administration is corrupt to the core. It can’t come to an end too soon.