There are at least two notable issues that emerge from this brief clip of Barack Obama’s latest remarks on the current fire storm surrounding Jonathan Gruber, ObamaCare and the White House.
First, Obama describes Gruber as “some adviser who never worked on our staff.” While that may be technically correct, it would depend on what the definition of “staff” is. While Gruber didn’t take the pay cut that joining Obama’s staff may have cost him, certainly he was specifically sought out and retained by the administration as a key figure in their efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act.
The other issue raised by Obama’s comments is significant and pertains to Gruber, as well.
In 2009, just one month after President Obama took office, the Department of Health and Human Services put out a sole-source solicitation titled “Technical Assistance in Evaluating Options for Health Reform.” The contract would be with Gruber, who the document said was the only person “reasonably available to satisfy agency requirements.”
As the agency put it, “Dr. Gruber developed a proprietary statistically sophisticated micro-simulation model that has the flexibility to ascertain the distribution of changes in health care spending and public and private sector health care costs due to a large variety of changes in health insurance benefit design, public program eligibility criteria, and tax policy.”
In the exchange with Fox News reporter Ed Henry, Obama encourages “every press outlet here to go back and pull up every clip, every story…” in citing the “transparency” surrounding the ObamaCare debate.
Written by DAN RIEHL
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