Jonathan Gruber

Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Says Jonathan Gruber Didn't Influence Congressional Authors of Obamacare. That's Not True.

|

White House.gov/Youtube

Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor and Obamacare architect who recently made headlines when a video was unearthed of him saying that the law's backers relied on "the stupidity of the American voter" in order to pass the law, is set to testify in front of the House Oversight committee next week.

In an interview with USA Today earlier this week, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked what she thinks he might say. Here's how Sebelius, who presided over the first several years of Obamacare's implementation, including the botched rollout of the exchanges in 2013, responded:

"I have no idea what Dr. Gruber is going to say, but frankly I don't think that it's relevant in terms of his personal opinions of what happened," she told USA Today. "He was not author of the bill itself. He didn't influence the members of Congress who actually wrote the legislation."

This is not strictly true. Gruber was not the sole author of the bill itself; like most lengthy pieces of legislation, it had multiple authors. But Gruber claims he was one of them. In a videotaped 2012 lecture about how the law works, he says that he "actually wrote" the portion of the bill dealing with small business tax credits. News reports have also credited Gruber with helping to create the law's structure and draft its specifics. 

As for Gruber's influence, there's little question that he influenced key provisions of the bill. He participated in an intimate White House meeting with President Obama that led to the inclusion of the law's Cadillac tax on high-deductible plans. He made multiple trips to the White House, according to visitor logs.

And he certainly influenced legislators, including those who were closely involved in the drafting of the bill.

Sen. Max Baucus chaired the Finance Committee while it drafted a version of what would eventually become the health law. According to a 2010 statement from his staff, "Senator Baucus wrote the bill that passed the Finance Committee and then worked with his colleagues to write the health care bill that is law today." He is one of Obamacare's primary elected legislative authors.

We know that Gruber influenced Baucus, because in December 2009, during a debate about Obamacare, Max Baucus cited Gruber's work by name on the Senate floor, describing at length a Gruber-authored study looking at Obamacare's expected effects on health insurance premiums. Baucus was pointing to Gruber's study in order to help make the case for the bill, which suggests that it helped shape his thinking. In the same speech, Baucus also praised Gruber's work and reputation, saying "most people think he is one of the best outside experts." In other words, Baucus, one of the health law's key backers and authors, is citing work by Gruber that he found convincing, and attesting to Gruber's wide influence.

It's unclear whether Sebelius is intentionally misleading people about Gruber's role or whether she is simply misinformed. But when says that Gruber "didn't influence members of Congress who actually wrote the [Obamacare] legislation," she is wrong. 

NEXT: In Phoenix, Another Fatal Police Shooting, Over a Bottle of Pills

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. But when says that Gruber “didn’t influence members of Congress who actually wrote the [Obamacare] legislation,” she is wrong lying.

    Call a spade a spade.

    1. Now you’re just being a garden variety racist.

      1. I see what you did there.

      2. At least she’s not calling a hoe a hoe.

      3. Where’s Swissie with his *narrows gaze* when you need it?

  2. “Hitler”? NEVER HEARD OF HIM

    1. Hitler? I hardly knew her!

      1. Hitler? I never hit a woman in my life!

    2. Oh look, it’s Mr. Hilter!

  3. “I have no idea what Dr. Gruber is going to say, but frankly I don’t think that it’s relevant in terms of his personal opinions of what happened,” she told USA Today. “He was not author of the bill itself. He didn’t influence the members of Congress who actually wrote the legislation.”

    ARGHH!! I thought we had heard the last from the White Witch!

    1. Really? I was kinda hoping for a Warren/Sebelius ticket in ’16.

      1. I was kinda hoping for some hot Warren on Sebelius girl on girl action!

        No…not really!

        1. Gross.

    2. “I have no idea what Dr. Gruber is going to say”
      ——————
      I hope he now adds her to his list of people to throw under the bus.

    3. What the fuck was he paid for, then?

  4. Given Gruber’s habit of being a shit weasel who fucks up and tells the ugly truth every now and then, this could be damned entertaining.

    1. Yeah, this could be fun, in a sick and twisted sort of way.

    2. I hope he decides not to go down alone now that they’ve hung him out to dry.

      1. He still has to protect the millions he received from the feds and the state exchanges for his “expertise”.

        1. Why? Haven’t the checks cleared?

          1. But if he pisses off the right people…

            Knock knock
            Who’s there?
            IRS
            IRS who?
            IaReSst you.

            1. and today I get an email from OFA decrying the “payback politics” from the right. hahaha

      2. God, he reminds me of Herbert Stempel. Look dude, you Jewish nerds are of limited use. When your time is up, you might as well confess all.

  5. That she states members of congress actually wrote the legislation is hard proof that Sebelius is either a liar or an idiot.

    1. yes she is

    2. Por que no los dos?

    3. Congressional Authors of Obamacare – that caught my eye too. Biggest lie they sold.

      None of them had the slightest idea what they were voting for.

      1. “We need to pass it, to see what is in it”

      2. Congressional Authors of Obamacare

        Nice band name.

    4. That she served as head of HHS during a Democrat administration in the post Kennedy era is proof that she is BOTH and idiot and a liar.

      *spit*

  6. We need to implant truth chips into political figures.

    1. You laugh, but this kind of thing will exist within two generations.

    2. I’ll just leave this here.

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWI9xIGba4

    3. We’ll either get actual honest people in office, or a more evolved sort of sociopath.

    4. But, but, but, ?. if you take away a Democrat’s ability to lie, he just won’t GO. It’s his mainspring.

  7. At this point, with all the exposure of Gruber being part of coming up with Obamacare, it’s impossible for her to be anything but a liar. But we already knew that, didn’t we.

  8. It’s unclear whether Sebelius is intentionally misleading people about Gruber’s role or whether she is simply misinformed.

    Come on Suderman. You’re not that naive.

    1. But he kind of had to phrase it that way to stay within the realm of the respectable press. That may change in the future as more info comes to light.

  9. Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor

    DAMNED POINTY HEADED SMARTASS!

    1. NEEDZ MOAR FAIK SKANDALZ!

      You do realize that when he was talking about the stupid fucking rubes that they had to lie to ,in order get congress to bite this shit sandwich, he was talking about you right?

      1. Shriek is only lucid 8% of the day.

        1. That time does not overlap with posting here.

        2. That much?

      2. Not to mention, is it a sign of great intelligence to say what he said out loud, more than once?

      3. Most people already knew that insurance is about healthy people paying premiums so sick people can make claims. Everyone eventually gets sick.

        Gruber said nothing important. But calling the voters “stupid” riles the riff-raff up.

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|12.4.14 @ 3:12PM|#
          “Most people already knew that insurance is about healthy people paying premiums so sick people can make claims.”

          Which, of course, is two MORE lies!

        2. Gruber said nothing important.

          That’s why the administration is running from him like he has Ebola.

          1. Gruber is being swiftboated by the media.

            1. Hey! Turd has new meaningless slogan! Imagine that!

            2. BTW, turd, “the media” has hardly mentioned the man’s name.

            3. You mean “an accurate but negative depiction that runs contrary to the Democrats’ preferred narrative”? I’d say so.

              1. If he means “showing clips of the man’s own statements over and over”, then, yes, he’s been “swiftoated”.

                1. I feel so sorry for him. Swiftboated! *sniff*

                  Where is your humanity?!?!?!

            4. Well that means they are telling the truth, since the swift boat vets were 100% correct in what they said about Kerry.

              1. A bunch of dudes you served with aren’t going to come out of the wood work decades after the fact unless you seriously pissed them off and left them disgusted with you.

            5. Great phrase’; “swift boated by the media”

              On analysis it seems to mean “being held accountable for past behaviors that do not reflect well on him”, but I understand that you mean “they’re telling the truth about us! Wahhhhh!”.

        3. So they paid him $400,000 to say nothing important. Nice.

          1. Obama’s going rate for paying people to do nothing is quite a bit higher than that.

            1. Leave the Ebola Czar out of this!

        4. Continued ignorance of how risk based calculations work…argh.

      4. “he was talking about you right”

        I think turd now claims he knew the truth and he was lying then.
        I’m gonna say he’s a lying POS who was lying then and is lying now and wouldn’t know how to tell the truth with a 50-page instruction manual and a tutor.

  10. Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor and Obamacare architect who recently made headlines….

    Wait, wut ? I didn’t see any headlines about Gruber.

    I think the President may have recalled Gruber as a guy who wandered away from a white house tour and stumbled into a meeting once, but I don’t recall any headlines.

  11. Jonathan Gruber will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the President has dissolved the consulting agreement permanently. The last remnants of the academic advisers have been swept away forever.

    1. But did he terminate the consulting agreement retroactively?

      1. In a way, you have determined the choice of the institution that will be destroyed first. Since you are reluctant to provide us with the location of the consulting agreement, I have chosen to test this administration’s destructive power on your home university of MIT.

        1. But MIT is a gun free zone, its a peaceful institution of higher learning!

          1. You would prefer another target, an economic target? Then name the location of the consulting agreement!

            1. Kommissar Owebozo has altered the ACA agreement. Pray he doesn’t alter it any further!

  12. “Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Says Jonathan Gruber Didn’t Influence Congressional Authors of Obamacare.”

    Wait, wait! Did you hear the one about the preist, the rabbi and…?

  13. A spokesman from the Ministry of Truth has assured us none of these people have ever existed. And now, SPORTS.

  14. I’m starting to wonder if Gruber is not in fact a Koch sleeper agent. Were a libertarian to have predicted beforehand that someone so connected to the law and its passage would be such an obviously loathsome cunt, he would have been universally dismissed as a right-wing hack.

    When will we start seeing the Stalin-style photoshops of pictures where Dear Leader and Gruber are seen together?

    1. Won’t matter. Bush denied ever meeting Jack Abramoff then pictures of them together surfaced. Guilt by association is tough to pin on someone. Obama knew the Rev Wright and the media made sure everyone knew it but he still won twice.

      1. Turd:
        “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!”

      2. Neither Abramoff nor Wright were attached to a major policy promoted at the Presidential level, you fucking retard. They weren’t recorded making controversial comments about the policy they were attached to, you worthless dipshit. If you are trying to obscure your crippling mental deformities from others on this forum, you’re going to need to stop gleaning insights from Bill Maher’s b-roll.

        1. The House is planning to haul him in for a little talk, right?

          They would be well advised not to. He knows a lot more about the subject matter than any of them. And he is pissed off and far more articulate than any of them.

          1. So articulate that he told the American public that the bill he worked on was so counter to their interests, that he and anyone attached to the bill had to lie about it and restrict transparency so that it would be passed. Said it multiple times, in fact.

            The man who invented the “speak-o” is a fucking master of eloquence. Sure.

            OTOH, when your control group is a guy with a well-known reliance on a teleprompter for coherence and a harridan best known for derailing her party’s last major healthcare initiative, you might actually have a point.

            1. That’s not how I read his statements. He was saying the ACA was in the American Public’s best interest but we’re too stupid to let our betters run our lives for us, so he had to use the “Noble Lie”

              1. No. His statements clearly indicate that he thinks it will be of benefit to the sick and those with pre-existing conditions, and that he is not sure whether it will be better for cost-control. There are no issues which benefit the average American, and therefore the bill needs to be passed with the lie that costs will be controlled, that the bill will be revenue-neutral, that you can “keep your insurance”, etc. That is his argument in its essence.

          2. Palin’s Buttplug|12.4.14 @ 3:30PM|#
            …”And he is pissed off and far more articulate than any of them.”

            OH, OH! Threats from turd!

      3. Keep on stealing those turds PB. =D

    2. so connected to the law and its passage

      Dude – do you even READ?! Kathleen Sebokjdfojn;piious said right in this article that he had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

      NOTHING.

      You teathuglihadist, ratbagging, bitter clingers just don’t do reading comprehension, do you?

      1. Just like Obamacare affected literally nobody!!11

        /Shreeeeek

        1. Well, she did turn me into a newt….

          ,

          ,

          ,

          It got better!

  15. Oh, good. I hear shrieking again. I always appreciate the warning to stay away from a thread that’s about to be derptarded to death by shriek.

  16. he says that he “actually wrote” the portion of the bill dealing with small business tax credits

    So he wrote one of the good parts of it.

    1. Next:
      Turd gets dizzy from all the spinning and falls on his face.
      BTW, turd, tell us the one about how O-care isn’t going to affect the elections!
      That’s always good for a laugh.

  17. “is being swiftboated by the media”

    You really are just a random-word generator after all. Huh.

  18. Thank God we still have a First Amendment, even after other parts of the Constitution have taken a beating!

    Otherwise, we’d be like China. “What’s a Gruber? My search engine doesn’t give any results when I enter that word, and now someone from the Ministry of the Interior wants to speak to me.”

  19. Dear House Committee,
    Please roast this taxpayer money-grubbing SOB Gruber for hours like a Texas BBQ.
    Thank you.

    1. “Oh, you thought ‘grilling’ was just a journalistic metaphor?”

  20. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do,
    ???.s?w?i?p?e?b?o?s?s.?????

    1. Strippers have the best hours.

    2. Jonathan Gruber spotted.

    3. I’ll bet your sister’s friend does a lot of work on her knees and swallows.

  21. The Stages of Denial:

    “I never heard of this guy, what’s his name, Goober?”

    “Gruber was just some guy who lived in my neighborhood. Sometimes he’d drop by to borrow a cup of sugar.”

    “Well, sometimes he’d volunteer some suggestions about health-care policy, but I never paid it much heed.”

    “OK, I cited a couple of his research reports to justify Obamacare, but that was only because his mother thought it would boose his self-esteem.”

    “All right, I let him write a few sections of the bill. But the important thing is that Kim Kardashian just flashed her breasts at a Hollywood restaurant, and if you hurry, you can still see it!”

    1. I have to admit I’d be a little more interested in the Kim Kardashian thing if it happened. I’ll also admit I did a google search of it just in case it was really breaking news or something. That’s how attractive I think Kim Kardashian is. That she’s with Kanye West is utterly disappointing. What were we talking about?

  22. It’s unclear whether Sebelius is intentionally misleading people about Gruber’s role or whether she is simply misinformed.

    Because everyone in politics is a good person at heart.

    She’s lying.

    1. Its Suderman. His wife wrote a column a couple of weeks ago where she bemoaned what big meanies conservatives were being to Gruber on Twitter because “Gruber is a good well meaning person”

      The motherfucker caused real harm and misery to millions of people and now laughs about doing it and how smart he was to be able to lie to the people he harmed and Megan thinks he is a “good well meaning person”. Sudderman and McArdle are a couple bonded by their love of and faith in the credentialed top men.

      1. What’s funny is, they’re not particularly bad when it comes to elected politicians (I’ve not seen much love on the part of the Sudermans wrt Presidents and Congressmen), but they do worship at the altar of Mt Bureaucrat. As soon as this flunky gained consultant status he could do no wrong, and his motives are as pure and radiant as the sun.

        1. He went to the right schools Trouser. He has a PHD. McArdle especially is the worst academic jock strap sniffer. You get the feeling that Megan really wanted to be liked when she was at Wharton but never quite fit in very well.

          1. She also was very fond of Austan Goolsbee. Which is fine – he was her teacher and is probably nice and all.

            But he also told the Canadians that Obama was lying about NAFTA threats, and then he did the Koch brothers thing.

            Something about politics that pulls off a person’s veil.

            I hope they eventually nail him for releasing IRS private data, but I doubt it will happen.

  23. It’s unclear whether Selibius is lying or whether she is stupid.

    1. In her case, a distinction without a difference.

    2. Hanlon’s razor.

    3. She was hired for a high position buy the Obama Administration. That makes her a liar by profession.

    1. You tell us. You and people like you are the ones Gruber said was stupid. Everyone on this board knew this bill was a fucking disaster that was going to rob the middle class blind. It was pig ignorant middle and upper middle class liberals like you that Gruber fooled. Not us.

    2. And good luck with selling your next big social program to the country now that the country understands your side will do or say any lie no matter how big to get it passed.

      If you were anything but a fascist or you had any brains, you would hate Gruber more than we do because of the damage he has done to people’s faith in government. It is not our ideology that relies on the public’s faith in government.

      1. John it’s AMSOC town. People are just numbers to him.

      2. John, it has no clue what you said to it. All you’ve done is taught it that the particular sequence of words it just used will when planted as seeds on this blog can quickly lead to a bumper crop or words back at it!

        The poor creature’s ambition is to be mistaken for a human being, as far beyond its grasp as me becoming a superbowl-winning NFL quarterback.

        And you are setting it up far more cruelly than the guys hiring Matt Yglesias to write articles on public policy. You are like the guys voting for Carrie as home-coming queen. If you have any decency, you will stop interacting with it and allow it to find an activity more in keeping with its mental abilities.

        1. Crap, clinked the wrong reply link.

          I suppose it could apply to our genocidal maniac as well.

          1. Yes Tarzan I am a troll. I stated that the first time I ever posted on this board. =)

          2. Or maybe I’m just somebodies sock puppet.

            DUN DUN DUNN !!!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuhN1fUCMBM

          3. Oh yeah. Tarzan your blog is irrelevant to anyone not involved in your online gated community. I might as well read AMSOC’s blog.

    3. american socialist|12.4.14 @ 4:08PM|#
      “Yawn. So?”

      Hi, dipshit! Still stupid enough to swallow those lies whole? Still despicable enough to lie about it?
      How’s it feel being a pathetic excuse for a human being, you pile of warm shit?

  24. KS has lied about every aspect of BarryCare, why would she start telling the truth now?

  25. “It’s unclear whether Sebelius is intentionally misleading people about Gruber’s role or whether she is simply misinformed”.
    It’s unclear if Petey is a serious journalist.

  26. First he did influence the law, then he wrote it and now he is a non-person. Poor Winston will have his work cut out for him this weekend

  27. Well, given her track record of excellence I see no reason to discount what she said. She seems like a hardworking professional and not a political hack to me!

  28. I started with my online business I earn $38 every 45 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
    For information check this site. ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  29. Never believe anything said by a democrat.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.