Top academic defender of ObamaCare: Oh, by the way, I’m being paid by the feds

posted at 5:22 pm on January 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

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
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

but hes not a liar.

blatantblue on January 8, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Just like all those security personnel idiots who remained on the ski slopes after the failed Christmas airplane attack, they take their cue from the very top. O’Bambi stayed in seclusion in Hawaii for 3 days before he said a word – and then blamed the attack on an isolated extremist.

Similarly, this guy gets his income from two contradictory sources. You can bet that the TOTUS is also getting paid serious money – aside from his Presidential salary – from Soros and his ilk to do all what he is doing to bring down America!

honsy on January 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

I want to know why this guy all the sudden became the go-to source among the left-leaning/Admin friendly journalists.
Surely someone pointed them all in Gruber’s direction.

MayBee on January 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

What? You mean an ObamaCare whore lied about who his pimp is? My world is crushed.

OhioCoastie on January 8, 2010 at 5:33 PM

What a bunch of lying bastards….

jimwesty on January 8, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Didn’t McClain knock-off Gruber by inducing him to fall from a tall building in LA?

WashJeff on January 8, 2010 at 5:34 PM

My sense of humor must suck bacause I just do find this guy even remotely funny. This was supposed to be comedy….right?

VikingGoneWild on January 8, 2010 at 5:35 PM

This guy’s about as funny as a crutch.

Jaibones on January 8, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Even Jake Tapper talked about Gruber’s work. He didn’t use Gruber as a source, though.

MayBee on January 8, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Awesome Jon Stewart clip. Libs’ heads must be exploding with that comparison to George H.W. Bush.

rockmom on January 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Well, no sh**. Everyone is being paid.
Remember that old thing where you’d want to know how much someone’s parents paid for their friends? Well, in Obamaworld everyone really is paid.

ORconservative on January 8, 2010 at 5:41 PM

conflict of interest…shocka!

cmsinaz on January 8, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Stewart seems to use the opportunity to bash Fox News rather than Obama.

Wait, was I supposed to be surprised?

fossten on January 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Libtards like Stewart will never fully understand what an insignificant little race pimp Barry truly is. He was not even fit to serve in the sewer that is the Illinois state senate.

DeweyWins on January 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Another conflict of interest problem? Business as usual.

rukiddingme on January 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM

If Gruber attended Obama’s Rev. “G#D D#MN AMERICA” Wright’s Church of Perpetual Hatred, I’m ouddahere! Six degrees of separation, unless you attend regular cell meetings in Bill Ayer’s basement.

Roy Rogers on January 8, 2010 at 5:46 PM

The best part about these Stewart bits, where he lampoons Obama, is the inability of the audience to determine whether they should laugh or not. You can almost hear the wheels in their heads turn, “Was he being sarcastic? Should I laugh? I want to laugh, but no one else is laughing. Did that lady chuckle? Or was that a sneeze? Forget it I’ll just wait.”

Weight of Glory on January 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM

I hope Joe Wilson’s warming up his vocal cords in anticipation of a reprise of his “YOU LIE” performance.

Midas on January 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Weight of Glory on January 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM

He did throw them a Bush bone that felt safe\comfortable to laugh at.

WashJeff on January 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM

All externally visible work and comments, such as my editorials or public reports, have been done on my own time.”

So, because you say so, Gruber, it magically is true?

Except, time, like dollars, is fungible. That “time” spent doing editorials and public reports was already bought and paid for by the exorbitant fee you got for some dopey charts, etc.

For a supposedly brilliant man, what exactly don’t you understand about the phrase conflict of interest?
Your being paid makes a difference. All economists who quoted you believing in your independence, without any knowledge that you were a paid shill, have been cheated.

If it was all so “innocent,” how come you kept your big payday so secret???? Hmmm?

marybel on January 8, 2010 at 5:51 PM

I want to know why this guy all the sudden became the go-to source among the left-leaning/Admin friendly journalists.
Surely someone pointed them all in Gruber’s direction.

MayBee on January 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Yeah, the denials are hollow. The media didn’t put him on because he just walked up one day and asked to be on-air as an expert.

Midas on January 8, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Notice on the Daily Show clip, they still found a way to make fun of Bush?

Queen0fCups on January 8, 2010 at 5:52 PM

So it’s perfectly OK, and down right entertaining, to correctly suggest that Hussein Obama is a Lying Sack of $#!+ as long as it’s only done for laughs by some Useful Idiot on Comedy Central. But if you’re a White Conservative Republican… you’re nothing but a Tea-Bagging Racist.

ronnyraygun on January 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM

is under a $297,600 contract until next month to provide “technical assistance” in evaluating health care reform proposals

So did he just evaluate the differing DEM proposals or did he actually earn his 297,600 and the previous 95k contract and honestly evaluate the Republican proposals? And if he evaluated them ie ran all the numbers could we see that paperwork?

If he is under a government contract- aren’t his technical(real math) evaluations subject to FOIA requests? along with any emails? I mean, he is an MIT grad- he should know numbers.

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM

I assume it becoming easy to spot the crooks, paid advocates for BamBam’s Communism just look for the ‘D’ label.

tarpon on January 8, 2010 at 5:54 PM

The shocking thing is how many people apparently believed, or pretended to believe, Obama’s campaign promise to put health reform negotiations on C-SPAN. None of his fan club in the media would risk falling out of favor by challenging the promise. Now a few of them are acting outraged to cover their embarrassment of buying into that piece of hopenchange in 2008.

rgeaste on January 8, 2010 at 5:54 PM

He did throw them a Bush bone that felt safe\comfortable to laugh at.

WashJeff on January 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM

That was nice of him.

Weight of Glory on January 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Stewart has gotten to the point where he’s not funny even when he’s bashing someone i don’t like. *sigh*

madne0 on January 8, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Once he decided to do a segment on the story, Stewart really had no choice but to go after Obama and the Democrats a bit, since the alternative would have been a segment making fun of C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb for writing the letter reminding he president of his promise. Even the most partisanly hacky of hack Democrats in Washington or at the usual big media outlets haven’t tried to push that line yet.

jon1979 on January 8, 2010 at 5:59 PM

I want to know why this guy all the sudden became the go-to source among the left-leaning/Admin friendly journalists.
Surely someone pointed them all in Gruber’s direction.

MayBee on January 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

You mean someone like the hacks at Media Matters and their “Action Network”?

They fax and email talking points like these to the media daily, and they are accepted and forwarded without question.

http://mediamattersaction.org/factcheck/200911300001

get outta Moms basement on January 8, 2010 at 6:00 PM

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.

Did PricewaterhouseCoopers not investigate Mr Gruber to see who he worked for?

It is ironic that it is FireDogLake and Kos who are biting at Mr Gruber’s heels because he supports taxing the cadillac plans. Who supports FireDog Lake and Kos that they are upset about taxing cadillac plans?

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 8, 2010 at 6:01 PM

I’m noticing a trend here that the only people who will defend or vote for ObamaCare are being bought off…

Oh, that’s right, it’s ‘the Chicago way’.

Seven Percent Solution on January 8, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Who supports FireDog Lake and Kos that they are upset about taxing cadillac plans?

I’ve always thought the SEIU was a big sponsor.
I know SEIU advertises there and sponsored the first few Yearly Kos conventions.

MayBee on January 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM

No matter what we think of Stewart, he has a lot of young viewers, eventually this will have to start sticking to the ONE. Of course the offset was Booooooooooosh! As far as the conflict of interest with Gruber, does not surprise me at all that the MSM ignored it and will keep ignoring it.

bluemarlin on January 8, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Other than his stance on terror, is anyone truly happy with Bush from ~’05 on? I’ll take The Daily Show like the above any day. That clip was funny and skewering right through the center of a big O-bot pile. All that was missing was “Where’s your Messiah now?”.

roy_batty on January 8, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Obama also promised “Hope and Change” but most people who voted for him thought he meant hope and change for the better, not for the worse.

I expect any day to hear Obama qualify that by doing a Clinton: “It all depends on what the meaning of hope and change is”.

albill on January 8, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Can we start saying, “Told you so!” yet??

Rod on January 8, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Let’s see. The country is getting PHUCKED, and it’s supposed to be “humorous”.

Haha.

GarandFan on January 8, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Regarding the Daily Show, like it or not, Bush did bring honor and dignity back to the Presidency — which Obama quickly discarded and blamed Bush for having left behind!

LifeTrek on January 8, 2010 at 6:13 PM

I think it’s funny to pay attention to how Stewart’s audience reacts to Obama getting trashed. Obama isn’t fun for them anymore. Go figure.

What gets me is how it has taken all this time for the “intellectual” Left to just begin to understand what the “dumb” conservatives knew years ago. Not one promise that Obummer made to the Left has come to pass. NOT ONE. Nor will they come to pass. He lied and the Left knows it.

He’s a lame duck already. He may be popular to the Lemmings of the MSM but his base is abandoning him in droves. The Dhimms are going down in flames in 2010. Thank God.

The same folks who bragged on O’bummer a few months ago want to change the subject if I ask then how they like all their hope and change so far. They KNOW they screwed up but damned if they’ll ever admit it.

The only thing that makes it tolerable for me is knowing no matter how much Obama’s policies piss me off, I know it hurts the Left a whole lot more. They suffer for their stupidity in electing Obama just as much if not more than those of us who knew better.

I’m hoping the elections this year will have a very poor voter turnout from the Left. There’s nothing for them to get excited or feel good about.

Guardian on January 8, 2010 at 6:22 PM

I’d like to give Stewart credit for pointing out Obama’s broken promises, but the gist of that piece is: “Don’t be hard on Obama for failing to implement his ambitious agenda… at least he promised specifics, unlike that evil Bush!” Stewart is still pulling his punches, which is a shame, because he can be very, very funny when he’s not.

Caiwyn on January 8, 2010 at 6:30 PM

I think it’s funny to pay attention to how Stewart’s audience reacts to Obama getting trashed. Obama isn’t fun for them anymore. Go figure.

Guardian on January 8, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Makes me think about those poor souls down in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, their expressions, and what they must have been thinking right after Rev. Wright Jones announced that they would all drink the Kool-Aid and die together rather than face the truth.

“Huh? Did I just hear what I think I heard???”

Roy Rogers on January 8, 2010 at 6:32 PM

The media who once called the Republican Party “A culture of corruption”, is actually a gigantic part of an even greater corruption machine which is not just the Democratic Party, but the whole liberal/progressive movement.

hawkdriver on January 8, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Who supports FireDog Lake and Kos that they are upset about taxing cadillac plans?

I’ve always thought the SEIU was a big sponsor.
I know SEIU advertises there and sponsored the first few Yearly Kos conventions.

MayBee on January 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Hamsher & Andy Stern dated for 2 years

Gruber being paid by HHS and the lefties knowing about it – not news, they have known it all along. They turned him in because he is no longer useful. Anyone who is working for them should take note.

batterup on January 8, 2010 at 6:39 PM

I want to know why this guy all the sudden became the go-to source among the left-leaning/Admin friendly journalists.
Surely someone pointed them all in Gruber’s direction.

MayBee on January 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Axelrod. This is criminal. It’s racketeering and conspiracy to STEAL — in ANY other arena.

marklmail on January 8, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Great clip! “Only if you’re watching and listening, Jon.”

John the Libertarian on January 8, 2010 at 6:41 PM

The media who once called the Republican Party “A culture of corruption”, is actually a gigantic part of an even greater corruption machine which is not just the Democratic Party, but the whole liberal/progressive movement.

hawkdriver on January 8, 2010 at 6:39 PM

As always… Right on Target.

ronnyraygun on January 8, 2010 at 6:44 PM

roy_batty on January 8, 2010 at 6:09 PM

I’m not happy at some miscues. Immigration reform and the Dubai port security mess, but Bush’s military loved him. In that very time you’re talking about, when the entire world seemed to be against the US Military, George Bush made us aware daily, that he was proud of us, was behind us and genuinely loved his military. I will carry my respect for George Bush and his administration to the grave.

hawkdriver on January 8, 2010 at 6:46 PM

ronnyraygun on January 8, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Thanks.

hawkdriver on January 8, 2010 at 6:50 PM

CSPAN is racist
– Bleeds Blue

angryed on January 8, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Stewart should realize there’s no reason for sane people to press a point when Democrats are screaming at their own President.

You know his Savior was watching and he’ll probably receive notice of an IRS audit, err proctologist appointment.

That first Bush clip would have been useful during the immigration “debates”.

Speakup on January 8, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Other than his stance on terror, is anyone truly happy with Bush from ~’05 on?

roy_batty on January 8, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Compared to Obama’s B+ in 2009, Bush gets an A++++++ 2005-2008

angryed on January 8, 2010 at 6:59 PM

$297,600??? Are you kidding me???

Time to start some competitive bidding at HHS.

Chuckles3 on January 8, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Well, no sh**. Everyone is being paid.
Remember that old thing where you’d want to know how much someone’s parents paid for their friends? Well, in Obamaworld everyone really is paid.

ORconservative on January 8, 2010 at 5:41 PM

That’s right. Nancy Pelosi said so.. look at all of those tea party / townhall folks being funded by the insurance companies….. I know I’m still waiting for my check… I heard I could download it off of CSPAN

kringeesmom on January 8, 2010 at 8:01 PM

$297,600??? Are you kidding me???

Time to start some competitive bidding at HHS.

Chuckles3 on January 8, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Yep, and if they are paying him to evaluate, he should be doing “the peoples work” and evaluating every position, suggesting which pieces should be cut, which merged, etc or did HHS suddenly become the Democratic Party Health Platform HHS? If he is only evaluating the Dem plans and pushing the Dem plans, he should be paid by the Democratic Party, not taxpayer money.

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 8, 2010 at 8:16 PM

This stinks to high heaven. Gruber’s the one who keeps consantly writing that the Senate bill has all these wonderful cost-containment measures, but no one can say what they are, they just point to Gruber and invoke his authority. His work has been piss-poor. Meanwhile, he’s getting paid $300 K from HHS, and the WH keeps pointing to him as some kind of proof that the bills are wonderful.

Nice work if you can get it.

Chuckles3 on January 8, 2010 at 8:21 PM

but was it a no bid contract, then the Dems might get upset.

rob verdi on January 8, 2010 at 10:52 PM

You guys just don’t get it.

It doesn’t matter who gives you money, unless it’s from some evil corporation. Like Big Oil, or Big Pharma.

Leftists do it from the goodness of their heart. So leave the guy behind the curtain alone.

Squiggy on January 9, 2010 at 7:17 AM

It was no-bid. See https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=3032e84fe13f650770acee31c1372a1b&_cview=0&cck=1&au=&ck=

The rationale for not putting it up for bid is here: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=ff3e0b204ae1fd5343ab19cf3a62f160&_cview=0

“The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), intends to negotiate with Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D. on a sole sources basis for technical assistance in evaluating options for national healthcare reform. The basis for restricting competition is the authority of 41 USC 253(c)(1) 106-1(b) because there is only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy DHHS requirements. The anticipated contract period will be eight months. “

Chuckles3 on January 9, 2010 at 8:45 AM

John Stewart and Steve Colbert are balanced media for the cable stations.

C-SPAN is actually a misspelling that that was never corrected for fear of the truth being exposed on C-SPIN.

The background of Dr. Gruber indicates anyone can be bought, the question is at 5 or 6 figures.

MSGTAS on January 9, 2010 at 9:54 AM

This was supposed to be comedy….right?

VikingGoneWild on January 8, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Well, satire at the least but at least the main target, Obama, got hit pretty hard even if they couldn’t do it without throwing some jabs at Bush.

Yakko77 on January 9, 2010 at 12:06 PM