So-called Obamacare “architect” Jonathan Gruber has lost another gig, this time with the state of North Carolina.
On Thursday, Gruber’s contract with Vermont, worth about $400,000, was terminated, although the MIT professor had apparently already pocketed $160,000 of the fee.
Gruber has made headlines recently bragging on camera about the stupidity and economic unsophistication of the American voter, along with the lack of transparency in the complicated legalese in the bill itself, that allowed Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, to pass Congress.
The professor reportedly helped write the law that, as he has implied on video, was actually a tax-raising, income-transfer scheme.
In a 2013 Google Plus hangout, President Obama deemed his administration the most transparent in history. As you may recall, in 2008 then-candidate Obama suggested that healthcare reform negotiations could be televised on C-SPAN.
Instead, after a lot of behind-the-scenes arm twisting (which included such incentives as the “cornhusker kickback” and the “Louisiana purchase“), Obamacare passed the U.S. Senate on Christmas Eve 2009, and the U.S. House on March 21, 2010, on a straight party line vote when both chambers were controlled by Democrats. It officially became the law of the land a few days later through a fast-tracked, parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation. Under Article 1, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution, all bills for raising government revenue are supposed to originate in the House rather than the Senate.
President Obama and other Democrats have sought to distance themselves from Gruber, despite previously heaping praise on his important role in working with them on healthcare reform.
The federal government paid Gruber about $400,000 for his Obamacare consulting. He has reportedly made millions on other related federal and state government contract work.
North Carolina, for example, hired Gruber to help with the state’s managed care program for low-income individuals. Yesterday, the North Carolina state auditor’s office announced (in somewhat “tortured” language as Gruber might say) the following about the end of Gruber’s consultancy. “Gruber’s comment that it was all right to mislead people to get to a desired outcome that he favored led our auditors to determine he had at least the appearance of an independence impairment.”
Gruber will bank about $100,000 for his work in that state, however.
As a result of the GruberGate fallout, the man himself has been asked to testify on Capitol Hill on December 9 at a hearing to “examine transparency failures related to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” Gruber is supposed to let the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee know by Monday if he is going to show up.
Said Rep. Darrell Issa, the committee chair, about the potential Jonathan Gruber testimony, “From the outset, the health law has been the poster child for this administration’s broken transparency promises. I expect Mr. Gruber and [CMS] Administrator [Marilyn] Tavenner to testify publicly next month about the arrogance and deceptions surrounding the passage and implementation of Obamacare.”
[image via Bing]