Gruber’s baaaaaa-aaaaack, and badder than ever. The Wall Street Journal’s Stephanie Armour got 20,000 pages of e-mail from the House Oversight Committee that MIT professor Jonathan Gruber exchanged with the White House on ObamaCare, making it clear that he played a far more integral role in its development than the Obama administration acknowledged after videos emerged of Gruber contradicting their position on King v Burwell. The e-mails cover 14 months and demonstrate intense involvement from the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency to the passage of the Affordable Care Act:
Jonathan Gruber, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist whose comments about the health-care law touched off a political furor, worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape the law, previously unreleased emails show.
The emails, provided by the House Oversight Committee to The Wall Street Journal, cover messages Mr. Gruber sent from January 2009 through March 2010. Committee staffers said they worked with MIT to obtain the 20,000 pages of emails. …
The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act. They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role.
Politically, at least, it makes it a little more difficult to distance Obama and his team from repeated remarks like this from Gruber:
More than one video has emerged of Gruber making similar comments.
Also, remarks in the e-mails themselves from White House staffers calling Gruber “our hero” make Obama’s description of Gruber’s relationship to the team look particularly dishonest. Shortly after a series of videos emerged showing Gruber’s contempt for Americans, Obama told reporters that Gruber was just “some adviser who never worked on our staff.” The MIT e-mails show that Gruber got invited to consult Obama directly, making the President look like a liar on what would normally be a petty issue, had Gruber not repeatedly shot off his mouth in public about the strategies employed to deceive American voters.
The Gruber videos caught the attention of the public for two reasons. One, it showed the dishonesty of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress over how this program was both sold and written. Two, Gruber’s arguments directly contradict what the Obama administration has represented in its arguments to the Supreme Court in King v Burwell. Politically, these e-mails are a disaster. Legally, they won’t mean anything at all. The court decided King weeks ago, if not months, and we’re only waiting for the decision and opinions to emerge.
Finally, why did Oversight have to go to MIT to get these e-mails? This should have been provided to Oversight from the White House. The sheer volume alone of these communications show that Gruber’s role was critical in the process of ObamaCare. To compare, recall that Hillary Clinton turned over what she said were the complete set of work-related e-mails from four years at the State Department — and that came up to 50,000 pages of communications. And no one believes that it comprises the complete set of e-mails, either, especially after Sidney Blumenthal’s subpoena found dozens that no one knew existed.
This pattern of hiding e-mails and some advisers wasn’t limited to the State Department, in other words. Looks like this may have been the Obama administration mantra: