Economist and former Obamacare adviser Jonathan Gruber, who was captured in a 2013 video saying that Obamacare had passed, in part, because of "the stupidity of the American voter," will testify before a congressional panel on Dec. 9 along with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California sent out a tweet about their testimony Tuesday.
Gruber advised the Obama administration on structuring the health care law, although when his comments attracted attention earlier this month, the president referred to him as "some adviser who never worked on our staff," and Nancy Pelosi said, "I don't know who he is."
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Since that initial "stupidity" comment, more video of Gruber has emerged, including one in which he criticized any state that opposed Medicaid expansion--and the federal cash infusion that comes with it--as "awesome in its evilness." He said that those states were "willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in injections into their economy in order to punish poor people."
Gruber, who is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has also been advising several states on setting up their health care exchanges. One of them, Vermont, has announced that it will not pay the remainder of Gruber's $400,000 consulting contract, although his services are still needed leading up to a January deadline to present a health reform plan to the state legislature. Gruber was hired to run economic models to support the governor's plan.
Gruber has consulted on healthcare initiatives in at least seven other states -- Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Issa is calling Tavenner to testify about the discrepancy in Obamacare enrollment numbers. Tavenner had told the committee that 7.3 million had signed up, when in fact the number was just under 7 million. It turned out that 400,000 dental plans had been included in the tally.