Politics

Vermont Cuts Gruber Off

The state of Vermont has halted its contract with embattled MIT economist Jonathan Gruber after videos surfaced of him boasting about hoodwinking the American public into accepting Obamacare and mocking the stupidity of American voters. 

Vermont began a $400,000 contract with Gruber, one of the nation’s top health economists, to help structure the funding of the state’s single-payer health system, which it hopes to launch in 2016. But on Wednesday, Lawrence Miller, chief of health care reform for Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, announced that the state is stopping payment on the contract, according to Watchdog.org.

Vermont’s already paid Gruber $160,000 on the contract, which began July 21 of this year. It was supposed to run through Feb. 15. 2015, up to $400,000. 

“As the Governor and I have said, the comments by Mr. Gruber are offensive, inappropriate and do not reflect the thinking of this administration or how we do things in Vermont,” Miller said Wednesday in a statement. “As we have also said, we need solid economic modeling in order to move forward with health care reform.”

Miller said that he informed Gruber “that I expect his team to complete the work that we need to provide the legislature and Vermonters with a public health care financing plan. I’ve informed Mr. Gruber that we will not be paying him any further for his part in completing that work.”

The Daily Caller has reported Gruber’s many contracts with state and federal governments. He has worked on health care systems in eight states and across several federal agencies on Obamacare, as an expert witness and as a legal consultant, totaling at least $5.9 million. (RELATED: Gruber Has Made At Least $5.9 Million For Government Work)

His ongoing contract with the National Institutes of Health to study Medicare Part D came under fire by several House Republicans on Wednesday as well. (RELATED: Congressmen To NIH:  Justify Continuing To Pay Jonathan Gruber)

In addition to castigating the American electorate at large, Gruber was caught on video mocking a concern about rising health insurance costs from a former Vermont state senator and adviser to President Ronald Reagan. Gruber laughed that the question could have been written by his “adolescent children.”

Gruber was using his own system, the Gruber Microsimulation Model, to provide “policy expertise, research, and economic modeling” to help plan out Vermont’s proposed single-payer system. It’s the same model he used with Health and Human Services to model costs for Obamacare, which he said was written in a “tortured way” so that the Congressional Budget Office wouldn’t score its costs as taxes.

Two state senators and three state representatives, in addition to several online petitions, had called for the Shumlin administration to cut off Gruber’s contract.

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