It looks like Darrell Issa’s tenure at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will end with a bang, not a whimper. Issa requested testimony from controversial ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber at a hearing in two weeks, but it seemed far from clear that the MIT professor would agree. According to the committee’s spokesperson, though, Gruber has RSVP’d in the affirmative:
Jonathan Gruber, the former ObamaCare adviser in hot water for his comments about the “stupidity of the American voter,” has agreed to testify at a House panel next month, setting up a healthcare showdown in what could be the final week of this Congress.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will also hear from Obama administration official Marilyn Tavenner, who is under fire this week for using inflated enrollment figures for the healthcare law.
“Both Mr. Gruber and Administrator Tavenner have agreed to testify,” committee spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll told The Hill.
The “invitation” went out late last week, so it appears Gruber didn’t hesitate to respond. That seems curious, especially since it wasn’t really necessary. Gruber could have forced Issa to get a subpoena, which Issa may have tried, but time is running out on this session and a subpoena vote may have used up what little time was left for Oversight to meet. Gruber might have gotten a pass from Jason Chaffetz, who will chair the committee in the next session, but that’s not a good bet. Besides, if Gruber’s as smart as he obviously considers himself, perhaps he thinks he’ll have no problem handling the rubes he tried to fool the first time around.
Or, perhaps, Gruber just wants to tell a few truths about ObamaCare now that the cat’s out of the bag. He can start with how the Obama administration kept promising lower premiums while he was telling Democrats that more than half of Americans would see premiums spike under their plans:
While President Obama campaigned on a promise that his universal health care plan would lower premiums, his controversial adviser and plan architect was privately warning the state of Wisconsin that Obamacare was poised to massively increase insurance costs for average residents, internal documents show.
Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist currently under fire for suggesting the Obama administration tried to deceive the public about the Affordable Care Act, was hired by former Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle in 2010 to conduct an analysis on how the federal health-care reform would impact the state.
Mr. Gruber’s study predicted about 90 percent of individuals without employer-sponsored or public insurance would see their premiums spike by an average of 41 percent. Once tax subsidies were factored in, about 60 percent of those in the individual market were projected to see their premiums go up 31 percent, according to his analysis.
In addition, 53 percent of those insured by companies with fewer than 50 employees, would see their premiums rise by an average of 15 percent even after subsidies, Mr. Gruber forecasted. The report warned such increases could impact small companies’ decision whether to provide health insurance to their workers.
Makes one wonder exactly what kind of consultation HHS got for its $400,000 it paid Gruber, eh? Don’t ask Kathleen Sebelius, who ran the agency that paid Gruber almost the same amount of money the President gets for a year of work. Despite all of that money going to Gruber, Sebelius says that she never worked with Gruber “personally,” and that ObamaCare is still the most open process for a law evah. Gruber’s lying about lying, y’all:
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius called comments from Jonathan Gruber on the “stupidity of the American voter” regarding passage of the President’s signature health care law “totally offensive” and said she never worked with Gruber “personally” though he worked “with a number of our agencies.”
Sebelius made her comments Monday after appearing on CNN, saying that the MIT economist was not an “architect” of Obamacare, as some have suggested, but agreed that he could be considered one by osmosis given his role in drafting the Massachusetts health care law that she said served as a “template” for Obamacare.
But Gruber’s comments that the Obama administration misled voters couldn’t be further from the truth, she said.
“You couldn’t have debated this more. It couldn’t have been more open,” Sebelius said, echoing comments President Barack Obama made after videos of Gruber surfaced online this month.
Chris Cuomo points out that the back end of the ObamaCare health-exchange system still doesn’t work, and wonders exactly how that can be the case more than four years after the passage of ObamaCare. Sebelius says she never personally worked with the back end, although it did work with several agencies … oh, wait, that’s Gruber. Instead, Sebelius comes up with an odd claim that the back end actually has been built, but that they didn’t want to use it for this year’s open enrollment period, even though that’s the most important application for it.
But they’re open and honest. Riiiiiiiiiight.