Gruber has been a complicated figure in the history of the health-care law. He helped the Obama administration craft the measure and has been a leading advocate of it, but he has also made sporadic comments sparking political brush fires that have been problematic for the law’s supporters.

The White House sought Wednesday to distance itself from Gruber and his comments.

“The Affordable Care Act was publicly debated over the course of 14 months, with dozens of Congressional hearings, and countless town halls, speeches, and debates,” White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said in a statement. “The tax credits in the law that help millions of middle class Americans afford coverage were no secret, and in fact were central to the legislation. Not only do we disagree with [Gruber’s] comments, they’re simply not true.”
An administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity sought to play down Gruber’s role in developing the law, noting that he “did not work in the White House.”