Vermont officials said Wednesday they would stop paying Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber for consulting on the state health care system after videos surfaced recently of him suggesting that the ”stupidity of the American voter” helped pass the Affordable Care Act.
Gruber, who helped the White House draft what has become known as Obamacare, had been paid $160,000 of a $400,000 Vermont contract to run economic models for a proposed health insurance system, the Burlington Free Press reported on Wednesday. Lawrence Miller, the chief of health care reform in Vermont, said in a statement that he expects Gruber to finish his work for the state, but would stop paying for his work. Miller added that the state would continue to issue paychecks to the graduate students working with Gruber.
Gruber declined to comment, the Free Press reported.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) on Tuesday sought to distance himself from Gruber’s videotaped remarks, but said the state needed the economist’s expertise.