Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber had a rough time facing Congress this week, but the Massachusetts exchange where he continues to work made a show of support Thursday — complete with heart-shaped pins featuring Gruber himself.
A range of videos have surfaced of the Obama administration consultant over the past several months calling the American voters stupid, explaining that Obamacare’s passage was not transparent and it had to be to hide the real intentions of the law from the public. He’s also made damaging comments about the policy of the health-care law, including the law’s Cadillac tax on employer health plans and the legality of Obamacare subsidies in the federal exchanges, which is the subject of an upcoming Supreme Court case.
Several states, including Vermont and North Carolina, have cut their ties with Gruber in the aftermath of his comments. But Gruber continues to serve as a board member of Massachusetts’ Obamacare exchange. His fellow board members, as well as Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, made quite a show of support for Gruber Thursday, The Boston Globe reports.
At their monthly meeting, board members wore heart-shaped pins with a cartoon of Gruber in the center. The picture is taken from Gruber’s 150-page comic book about Obamacare, entitled ‘Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works.’
“Jon’s been an extraordinarily important member of this board since he was appointed by Governor Romney in 2006,” board member Nancy Turnbull told The Boston Globe. “He’s devoted, he’s knowledgeable, and it’s been great to have him on the board.”
“I think all of us feel that way,” said another board member, Louis Malzone.
The Obamacare exchange’s executive director, Jean Yang, also sported the pin, but didn’t comment.
“I think he’s been treated extraordinarily badly and disrespectfully,” Turnbull added.
Celia Wcislo, another exchange board member and vice president-at-large of a local 1199 of the SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said Gruber is “a stand-up, wonderful guy.”
Gov. Deval Patrick said that while Gruber’s comments “embarrassed” him, he won’t remove him from the exchange board.
“I think people say stupid things and they apologize for the stupid things and we move on,” he told The Boston Globe. “His contributions certainly so far have outweighed the stupid things.”