On the same morning that the New York Times published an editorial claiming that Jonathan Gruber’s role in crafting Obamacare was “limited,” former Obama administration advisor Steven Rattner told MSNBC that Gruber was in fact “the guru” in putting together the Affordable Care Act.
In running defense for Obama, the Old Gray Lady claimed that Gruber’s role in Obamacare was “limited” and that he was not a “major architect of the health reform law,” dismissing assertions that “the reform law was hatched in secrecy and foisted on the public by trickery.”
This was swiftly contradicted by Steven Rattner, a former Obama administration adviser, who told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that Gruber was “the guru on health care” and that he “was certainly viewed as an important figure in helping to put Obamacare together.”
“I think if you go back and look at the Washington Post or the New York Times or anything from that period, you will find Jonathan Gruber’s name all over it, as both someone who’s the leading expert on health care quoted by everybody, and as someone who the White House was using,” added Rattner.
Gruber, who stoked controversy after numerous videos emerged of him from before the passage of ACA acknowledging that the “stupidity” of American voters was a key factor in getting the legislation through, was a frequent visitor to the White House, holding “a series of high-level meetings with administration officials beginning in 2009 and extending through June of this year,” according to The Hill.
The MIT economics professor, who also met directly with President Obama, was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his work on Obamacare, while his firm secured millions in federal and state contracts.
This represents just one of a series of clumsy attempts on behalf of both the administration and Obama-aligned media outlets to downplay the significance of Gruber’s role in helping to mastermind Obamacare.
On Sunday, Obama himself attempted to diffuse the controversy by claiming that he barely knew Gruber and that the MIT professor was “some adviser who never worked on our staff.”
However, a clip surfaced yesterday of Obama giving a presentation at the Brookings Institute during which the president acknowledged that he had “stolen ideas liberally” from “Jon Gruber”.