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GOP gets more fuel in fight against Obamacare

Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber describes how its authors used deception to describe a new tax on high-end insurance plans scheduled to go into effect in 2018
Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber... 02:22

Republicans who want to blow holes in the health care law got more ammunition Friday from new videos featuring Jonathan Gruber, an economist and consultant who helped write the law.

A 2013 recording raised eyebrows earlier this week, in which Gruber said the Affordable Care Act passed thanks to "the stupidity of the American voter."

Kevin Counihan, the man in charge of Healthca... 01:58

The newest clip to surface is from 2011. In it, Gruber describes how Obamacare's authors used deception to describe a new tax on high-end insurance plans scheduled to go into effect in 2018.

"And the only way we could take it on was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans," Gruber said.

In 2012, he boasted about similar tactics in the universal health care bill he helped to craft in Massachusetts, which was a precursor to Obamacare.

"The dirty secret in Massachusetts is the feds paid for our bill, okay, in Massachusetts," Gruber said. "Ted Kennedy and the smart people in Massachusetts basically figured out a way to rip off the feds for about $400 million a year."

Jonathan Gruber was an intellectual architect... 01:50

Now, Republicans want Gruber to tell those stories to Congress.

"We may use hearings, we may use deposition process," says California Rep. Darrell Issa, who plans to call Gruber before the House Government Oversight Committee as soon as early December.

The congressman says his staff is reaching out to Gruber, but when asked if the MIT professor is being responsive, Issa's response was: "What do you think?"

Democrats say Gruber doesn't speak for them and that his role in writing the law has been exaggerated, although he was paid nearly $400,000 in consulting fees by the Obama administration.

His comments add fuel to the all-out assault on Obamacare that Republicans are planning for January, when they will control both houses of Congress.

"It gives us an opportunity to dig a little deeper, ask a few more questions and push a little harder to get provisions of this law off the books," says Rep. Marcia Blackburn of Tennessee.

Two of the Obamacare provisions that critics like the least are the employer mandate and the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to have insurance.

Both are at the heart of the law, and bills to do away with them would likely be met with a presidential veto.

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