He’s been a popular source for media during the ObamaCare saga but somehow this minor detail escaped their attention. He almost never mentioned it, and they almost never asked. Fancy that.

Gruber, according to federal government documents, is under a $297,600 contract until next month to provide “technical assistance” in evaluating health care reform proposals. He was under a $95,000 HHS contract before that.

But while he was being paid to provide his services to HHS, he was also fending off health care reform critics in the media. Gruber was one of the prominent analysts to rebut an insurance industry report from PricewaterhouseCoopers in October saying premiums would shoot up if a health care bill passes. And he has recently written columns defending specific provisions in the House and Senate bills, particularly the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans…

“NONE of the work I have done in public, or any public declarations I (have) made, has been in any way funded by the administration,” he wrote in an e-mail. “That funding was strictly for internal work that I did for the administration and, via the administration, for Congress. All externally visible work and comments, such as my editorials or public reports, have been done on my own time.”

He wasn’t paid to tout ObamaCare, in other words. That was just sort of a freebie he provided alongside the services he was being paid for — namely, compiling cost projections of the sort CBO calculates. Among the reporters who say they didn’t know Gruber was a paid HHS consultant: Politico, Time magazine, Ezra Klein, and WaPo, which ran this op-ed by Gruber just 12 days ago with no mention of his connections. When pressed for comment by Politico, WaPo’s op-ed editor said it wasn’t a huge deal since “[t]he subject of the op-ed was not related to Gruber’s work for the administration.” Really? Follow the link to see what the op-ed was about and see for yourself how close the relation has to be to qualify for mandatory disclosure at the Post.

Try as I might to get worked up about this, is there anyone by now who expects more from the most open process evah? While you mull, enjoy Stewart’s segment on The One’s “stealth-care reform,” which should have been much broader in scope but works well enough as catharsis. Note how many clips they compile from different news outfits calling out Obama on his shameless C-SPAN lie.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Stealth Care Reform
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Tags: Barack Obama