MIT professor Jonathan Gruber served as the key health care consultant to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and even visited Obama’s office to sell the idea of the “individual mandate,” which Obama later championed, according to a 2007 news article.
Gruber, who said Obamacare passed due to the “stupidity of the American voters” and their “lack of economic understanding,” was described by the Washington Post as the Democratic Party’s “most influential health-care expert” who “consulted with the three leading Democratic campaigns about their health plans,” including Barack Obama’s.
He pressured the Obama campaign to support the “individual mandate” he helped developed for Massachusetts’ state-run health care, which forced people to buy insurance or face a penalty.
“Gruber championed this idea in Massachusetts, and … he did the same in Obama’s office, on the phone with [John] Edwards and in conversations with Chris Jennings, Hillary Clinton’s health policy guru,” reporter Perry Bacon Jr. wrote, adding that Gruber had to warm up the Obama campaign to the idea of the mandate.
He told Obama’s advisers that a mandate was necessary.
“[Gruber] said that without (sic) the mandate, Obama’s plan would shrink the number of uninsured from 15 percent to 6 percent,” Bacon reported. “Obama’s aides said that they think they could achieve universal care without a mandate, but that they would add one if they did not.”
Yet Obama has been attempting to downplay Gruber’s role in Obamacare over the past week after Gruber was caught on video displaying his disdain for American voters.
The president even claimed that Gruber was “some adviser who never worked on our staff,” but it’s quite obvious that Gruber had undue influence in shaping not only Obamacare but also Obama’s overall health care policies.
Obama even admitted this in 2006 when he mentioned Gruber as one of the “brightest minds from academia and policy circles” he had “stolen ideas from liberally.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also made reference to Gruber repeatedly while campaigning for Obamacare in late 2009, but last week she tried to claim she didn’t know who he was in the aftermath of the Gruber videos.
Steven Rattner, a former Obama administration adviser, told MSNBC host Joe Scarborough 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,” Rattner said.
And the Washington Post’s 2007 article proves Rattner right.