Videos have been surfacing all week featuringÂ one of the architects of Obamacare insulting Americans over their ignorance of the new healthcare law. The videos depict Jonathan Gruber, an economist at MIT, suggesting that Obamacare passed in part because of the â€œstupidity of the American voterâ€, and a â€œlack of transparencyâ€ over its funding mechanisms. Obama was asked about the videos at the G20 press conference. Like usual, he played dumb claiming â€œI just heard about this.â€ He went on to say,
â€œThe fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed his opinion that I completely disagree with â€” it is no reflection on the actual process that was run.â€
It’s obvious Obama is attempting to distance himself from Gruber by calling him “some adviser”, but Gruber was much more than that. He may not have been on the White House staff, but he was on the HHS payroll. HHS (Health and Human Services) signed Gruber to a contract to provide a micro-simulation model for four months at $95,000. They later added an eight-month contract for $297,000, bringing the total known value to almost $400,000.Â Official logs also show he visited the White House about a dozen times between 2009 and this year.
When the president was asked whether he had intentionally misled the public in order to get the law passed, he replied: â€œNo. I did not.â€ Obama claimed the notion that any provisions in the bill were hidden is absurd given the intensity of news coverage of the subject when the bill was being drafted and debated in Congress.â€œI would just advise every press outlet here: Pull up every clip and every story. I think itâ€™s fair to say there was not a provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated and was fully transparent,â€ the president declared, ” it was a tough debate.”
The debate may get a lot tougher for the president when he returns home from the summit. Conservatives in both chambers of Congress said they might call on Gruber to testify on Capitol Hill. That process would reopen the ugly political fight over a law that has already caused millions of Americans to lose their well-liked healthcare plans.