Jonathan Gruber visited the White House 21 times, but President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi still insist they do not know him personally and deny the “Obamacare architect” label given to him.
Gruber called American voters “stupid” on multiple occasions and was recorded talking about a bait and switch plan involved with the Affordable Care Act plan, President Obama’s signature legislation. White House visitor logs reveal that Jonathan Gruber visited the building starting in 2009 through June 2014.
The controversial Obamacare bill figure reportedly met with the Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orzag, the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Jeanne Lambrew, and the National Economic Council Director Larry Summers. Gruber met with the now Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jason Furman, and the Obamacare point person, Nancy-Ann DeParle.
The MIT professor also reportedly participated in a meeting of economists with President Obama. The meeting was allegedly held inside the Oval Office. During following trips to the White House, Jonathan Gruber was also reportedly given tours for the first family’s residence in the West Wing and enjoyed breakfast in the “exclusive West Wing cafeteria,” the White House’s mess hall.
During a press conference held in Australia last weekend, President Obama called Jonathan Gruber “an adviser who never worked on our staff.” Gruber was recorded saying this about Obamacare during an academic lecture series, “[Obamacare is a] tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If the CBO score the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”
Gruber also said that if the American voter realized that the Affordable Care Act involved healthy individuals paying more to cover the costs of subsidizing the sick, the Obamacare bill would have “lost political momentum.” Gruber added, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really, critical to get anything to pass.”
During a Brookings Institute panel in 2006, President Obama said this about Obamacare.
“You have already drawn some of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles, many of them I’ve stolen ideas from liberally. People ranging from Robert Gordon to Austan Goolsbee; Jon Gruber; my dear friend, Jim Wallis here, who can inform what are sometimes dry policy debates with a prophetic voice.”
A Gallup poll focused on Obamacare released on Monday revealed that support for the health care mandate has hit a new low. Only 37 percent of those polled said they approve of the law. When asked if Jonathan Gruber’s comments will pose problems for President Obama and Democrats, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “It’s not good. It doesn’t help when someone who helped write not only Obamacare speaks from the ivory tower with remarkable hubris about the American voter and by extension, the American Congress.”
What do you think about Obamacare? Is it costing you more money and decreasing doctor choice? Is Jonathan Gruber a problem for President Obama and Demcrats?
[Image via: Newsbusters]