After being caught on video describing the deception that was employed to pass ObamaCare in light of “the stupidity of the American voter,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economist Jonathan Gruber (shown), along with Democrats in Washington, has attempted to downplay his role as a key figure in the creation of the healthcare law. His recently released MIT e-mail archive, however, shows that he was indeed one of the prime architects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The 20,000 pages’ worth of e-mails Gruber sent between January 2009 and March 2010, the period in which the ACA was being drafted, “show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] on the Affordable Care Act,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which obtained the e-mails from the House Oversight Committee, which in turn obtained them from MIT. “They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role.”

The e-mails also confirm that Gruber met President Barack Obama on at least one occasion and that he was considered a valuable asset to the administration in its push for the ACA.

Even before the brouhaha about Gruber’s remarks, the administration tried to keep his role as an ObamaCare consultant under wraps.

As Forbes’ Avik Roy reminds us, Gruber was first trotted out by Democrats as an “independent expert” in the fall of 2009 after PriceWaterhouseCoopers projected that individual insurance premiums would rise sharply under ObamaCare. This, of course, conflicted with the administration’s assertions that the bill would significantly reduce said premiums, and so Gruber was called upon to testify in the Senate and be interviewed by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. In that interview, which was also the subject of some of the newly released e-mails, Gruber said, “What we know for sure the bill will do is that it will lower the cost of buying non-group health insurance.”

Recalls Roy:

Gruber was no independent expert. The Obama administration paid him nearly $400,000 as a consultant on Obamacare’s design, especially its new layer of federal health insurance regulation. But Gruber tried to avoid disclosing this conflict in his public commentary and appearances. Democratic officials did as well, in order to maintain the pose that Gruber’s opinions were non-partisan. Indeed, when Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) specifically asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a list of all its paid consultants, Gruber’s name was mysteriously omitted.

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