Jonathan Gruber, the healthcare reform architect who bragged of deceptive tactics used to sell Obamacare to the public, was merely a computer code expert who was “factually wrong in the assertions he made,” House Democrats now say.
Democrats say he was no architect of the law, but merely a “modeler” who wrote 15,000 lines of computer code that “has been useful to healthcare policy makers.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has posted on her website a 12-point fact sheet about Gruber’s remarks that aim to discredit the MIT scholar, who banked more than a million dollars from the federal government and states by helping design and implement the Affordable Care Act.
Gruber, Pelosi said, played no role in writing the healthcare law passed by the House and Senate, though he visited the White House eight times, according to public records, in the months leading up to the law’s passage.
“The White House sometimes consulted Gruber on health care issues,” Pelosi, who was House Speaker during passage of the law, said on her website.
Pelosi also said Gruber’s role in writing the bill is “misrepresented,” and that he was not an architect of the bill and was never a witness at any House hearings, although he was a witness at one Senate hearing.
Gruber, in several videos, said “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” were key to getting the public to accept the 2010 law.
“First of all, there was no lack of transparency in the drafting and passing of the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi’s website asserts.
“In fact, the Affordable Care Act had more openness and transparency in its consideration than any law in many years.”
Pelosi said the House held 79 bipartisan hearings and markups on the bill that included 181 witnesses and the legislation included 121 amendments from both parties.
The Senate, she added, spent 25 consecutive days in session to pass a bill that included 147 Republican amendments.
Pelosi also criticized Gruber for claiming the authors of the law avoided describing individual mandate as a tax.
“That is simply false,” according to Pelosi’s website defense.
“The authors of the ACA have always acknowledged that individuals would have to report it on their tax returns as an addition to income tax liability.”
Democrats have been eager to down play Gruber’s role. Pelosi's website defense makes the case that Gruber merely ran the legislation through is microsimulation model, which showed the law would lower premiums more than under current law.
Pelosi made a reference to Gruber’s modeling during a 2009 press conference, but when asked about him last week, she initially said she didn’t know him.
“Referencing a Gruber modeling analysis does not make Gruber a drafter or architect of the ACA,” Pelosi’s website said.