New Emails Again Confirm Jonathan Gruber Wasn't "Just Some Advisor" on Obamacare

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Jun 22, 2015 7:20 AM
New Emails Again Confirm Jonathan Gruber Wasn't "Just Some Advisor" on Obamacare

When citizen journalist Rich Weinstein exposed Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber in late 2014 for defrauding the country and calling the American voter "stupid," the White House denied he played a major role in writing the legislation and argued he was just "some advisor."

But new emails, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, reconfirm what we already knew. Gruber played an integral, major role in developing Obamacare.

The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act. They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role. 

The emails, provided by the House Oversight Committee to The Wall Street Journal, cover messages Mr. Gruber sent from January 2009 through March 2010. Committee staffers said they worked with MIT to obtain the 20,000 pages of emails.

“His proximity to HHS and the White House was a whole lot tighter than they admitted,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), chairman of the House oversight committee. “There’s no doubt he was a much more integral part of this than they’ve said. He put up this facade he was an arm’s length away. It was a farce.”

Mr. Chaffetz on Sunday sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell requesting information justifying the department’s sole-source contract with Mr. Gruber for his work on the health law.

The emails show Mr. Gruber was in touch with key advisers such as Peter Orszag, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget, an arm of the White House that oversaw federal programs.

He was also in contact with Jason Furman, an economic adviser to the president, and Ezekiel Emanuel, who was then a special adviser for health policy at OMB.

One email indicates Mr. Gruber was invited to meet with Mr. Obama. In a July 2009 email, he wrote that Mr. Orszag had “invited me to meet with the head honcho to talk about cost control.”

As a reminder, Gruber is also the White House advisor and Obamacare architect who said people living in states without Obamacare exchanges are not eligible for federal healthcare exchange subsidies. This is of course at the center of the King v. Burwell Supreme Court battle.

A decision on the case is expected any day now. 

For good measure, here's Gruber calling American voters stupid multiple times.