The Obama administration is trying incredibly hard to distance itself from Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber in the wake of his comments on deceiving “stupid” American voters in order to get the president’s namesake health-care law passed.
Gruber, who’s become known as quite the colorful speaker, has had a number of old videos come to light over the past several months that are detrimental to the Obama administration’s case. First, several bloggers discovered recordings of Gruber arguing against the Obama administration’s position in a key Supreme Court case on Obamacare subsidies over the summer.
Over the past week, Gruber’s been caught on video previously calling the Americans voters “stupid” and arguing that Obamacare only passed because Democrats were able to conceal its real wealth distribution effects and spending from voters — “clever,” “basic exploitation,” according to Gruber.
“Transparency is a key goal of the ACA: consumers now have more access to information about their health insurance than ever before,” White House spokeswoman Jessica Santilla told Talking Points Memo Wednesday night. “The Affordable Care Act was publicly debated over the course of 14 months, with dozens of Congressional hearings, and countless town halls, speeches, and debates.”
Santillo did not reference some of the less-respectable aspects of Obamacare’s passage, such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s 2010 admission that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Another anonymous administration official protested to TPM that Gruber helped developed “Romneycare,” Massachusetts’ health reform law which President Obama has cited as the model for his own law, but “did not work in the White House or play the same role in developing the Affordable Care Act.”
Gruber received $400,000 worth of contracts from the Department of Health and Human Services and his work on the Affordable Care Act was regularly touted on the White House website.