Obama Disputes Consultant’s Remarks On Health Law
President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell challenged comments by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber that the administration misled American voters, with the president noting the year of debate that preceded the law's passage.
The Wall Street Journal:
Obama Dismisses Consultant’s Remarks On Health Law
President Barack Obama and the secretary of Health and Human Services disputed the comments of a consultant on the president’s health-care law who said it passed in part because of the “stupidity” of the American people. Jonathan Gruber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was a paid consultant to HHS on the health law, sparked a furor with remarks that a lack of transparency and the stupidity of American voters was a political advantage in passing the bill. (Zumbrun and Patterson, 11/16)
The Washington Post:
Obama Dismisses Renewed Criticism Of Health-Care Law In Wake Of Gruber Video
President Obama dismissed renewed criticism of his signature health-care law Sunday and disputed an assertion from a former adviser involved in its creation who said the administration had deceived lawmakers. ... “We had a year-long debate,” Obama told reporters Sunday. “Go look back at your stories. One thing we can’t say is that we didn’t have a lengthy debate over health care in the United States. Every press outlet here should go back and pull up every clip and every story. It’s fair to say there is not a provision in the health-care law that was not extensively debated and was not fully transparent.” (Nakamura, 11/16)
Obama: We Didn’t Mislead On Health Care
President Barack Obama denied Sunday that his signature health care reform law was deceptively marketed, rejecting statements by a consultant on the plan who said aspects of Obamacare were designed to take advantage of the “stupidity” of voters. “The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run,” Obama declared at a press conference here, speaking for the first time about the comments by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. (Gerstein, 11/16)
Obama Defends Health Care Law After Adviser Criticism
U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday defended the transparency of his signature healthcare law, after one of the White House's advisers on the reform said the law passed, in part, because of the "stupidity" of American voters. Obama said the law, which extends private health coverage to uninsured Americans, was extensively analysed and written about before its passage in 2010, and in subsequent debates. "The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with ... is no reflection on the actual process that was run," Obama said during a press conference at the Group of 20 leaders meeting in Brisbane, Australia. (11/16)
Health Secretary Burwell: 'I'm Focused on Transparency'
The Secretary for Health and Human Services said Sunday morning that she does not agree with controversial comments recently made by one of the architects of health care reform. In an exclusive interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sylvia Mathews Burwell responded to the videos that surfaced this week of MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber in which he criticized American voters and their knowledge of the system. (Brewster and Armbruster, 11/16)
The Washington Post:
What Exactly Was Gruber’s Role In The Creation Of The Health Law?
What was Jonathan Gruber’s role in putting together the Affordable Care Act? ... While it is probably overstating things to describe Gruber as an “architect” of the law, as so many recent reports have, he was also no ordinary adviser — as evidenced by the fact that he was paid nearly $400,000 by the administration for his work. And his advice was important at critical moments when the bill’s survival was in jeopardy. (Tumulty, 11/16)
The Associated Press:
Obamacare 'Stupidity'? New Energy Push For Repeal
Newly surfaced videos are adding fresh energy to the efforts of congressional conservatives to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, feeding into their contentions that the overhaul was approved through a scheme of deception. Some are calling anew for hearings on the law, which is about to begin its second year of coverage for millions of Americans. And activists are telling lawmakers to make good on their talk of scrapping the law or face defeat in the next elections. The videos show MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, an adviser in the law's drafting, saying that "the stupidity of the American voter" helped Democrats pass the complex legislation. (Elliot, 11/15)
The New York Times:
Affordable Care Act Supporter Ignites Fury With A Word: ‘Stupid’
Gruber, a health care expert who helped develop Mitt Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts and later was a consultant for Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act, was no stranger to the pundit circuit, and repeatedly called attention to the similarities between the two plans — a politically helpful fact for the Obama 2012 campaign. They’re the same bill,” Mr. Gruber declared once, adding an expletive before the word “bill.” But now, Mr. Gruber’s bluntness is clearly less appreciated by those in the West Wing. (Shear, 11/14)