Well, Jon Gruber has been denied thrice… but it ain’t cock crow yet.
In case you are wondering who Jonathan Gruber is and why we care about him it is because he was a consultant to the Democrats when Obamacare was being developed and the eminence grise behind the law. He has also been taped on at least four occasions saying untoward things which potentially affect Obamacare’s future in the courts. The first of these was an admission that Congress did intend to deprive citizens of states without state-run Obamacare exchanges of subsidies to underwrite the cost of insurance. The others have confirmed that Obamacare was deliberately drafted in an opaque manner so as to disguise its true nature (a tax) from the public and its true costs from CBO analysts. (see RedState coverage of Jonathan Gruber)
It started this weekend when “independent” [mc_name name=’Sen. Angus King (I-ME)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’K000383′ ] basically denied knowing Gruber, denied Gruber was important, and denied that Gruber’s intent in building the law had any effect whatsoever. And you are only interested in this obscure personage because you want poor black kids to die without a doctor.
Today [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ] also denied him. Mind you, this is the lede from as Washington Post article.
House Minority Leader [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ] (D-Calif.) said Thursday that, not only did Jonathan Gruber not play a significant role in drafting Obamacare, but that she doesn’t even “know who he is.”
The Post then helpfully points to this 2009 interview by Pelosi:
We’re not finished getting all of our reports back from CBO, but we’ll have a side by side to compare. But our bill brings down rates. I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange. And our bill takes down those costs, even some now, and much less preventing the upward spiral.
Gruber is prominently quoted White House website. (h/t to HotAir’s Allahpundit who wins the internet for photo selection in this story). And a NY Times profile from 2012 leaves no doubt that he is the guy that convinced the administration to adopt critical elements of Obamacare, like the individual mandate.
And now the White House has denied Gruber knows what he’s talking about and said that he really wasn’t involved. Gruber, it seems, confused RomneyCare with Obamacare.
“Transparency is a key goal of the ACA: consumers now have more access to information about their health insurance than ever before,” White House spokesperson Jessica Santillo said in a statement to TPM. “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.
“The tax credits in the law that help millions of middle class Americans afford coverage were no secret, and in fact were central to the legislation,” she continued. “Not only do we disagree with those comments, they’re simply not true.”
An administration official also noted to TPM that — while Gruber is often described as an “architect” of Obamacare because he was a key consultant to the administration and was heavily involved in developing the Massachusetts health reform law that served as a starting point for the ACA — “he did not work in the White House or play the same role in developing the Affordable Care Act.”
This may or may not have significance as the next Obamacare cases wend their way through the Supreme Court. [mc_name name=’Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’J000289′ ] has indicated that the House may hold hearings focused on Gruber’s boasts of duplicity. This would put Gruber in grave financial and legal jeopardy if he tries to lie his way out of the statements. The real hope is that the Supreme Court is reading this coverage and will come to the cases, and we know four of the them will, prepared to not reward the White House for its deception.