White House Stresses That Gruber’s Role Was Limited
Meanwhile, as controversy continues about the former adviser's remarks about the strategy for pushing through the law, several outlets examine his comments in relation to the tax on Cadillac plans.
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:
White House: Gruber’s Role In Health Law Was Limited To Economics
The White House continued to distance itself from a controversial adviser Tuesday, suggesting that Jonathan Gruber had a narrow role focused on economic issues when he worked on the development of the Affordable Care Act. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Gruber, who received about $400,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services for his work, advised the administration on the economics of health care – not on the logistics of getting the law passed. (McCain Nelson, 11/18)
Obamacare's Whopping Cadillac Tax Under Fire
Of all the taxes in ObamaCare, none is more onerous than the whopping 40 percent Cadillac tax on the more generous employer-provided health care plans, which often are union plans. The now-famous former outside adviser on ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber of MIT, spoke about the Cadillac tax before an audience at the Pioneer Institute in 2011, saying, "It turns out politically, it's really hard to get rid of. And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans." (Angle, 11/19)
Obama Promised Obamacare Wouldn't Do Exactly What Gruber Says It Will Do
At a town hall meeting where he campaigned for health care legislation in 2009, President Barack Obama pledged to voters that he did not want any tax on health insurance plans he perceived as wastefully generous to ever impact average Americans. But in recent comments by one of the men who helped draft the legislation, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, that is not only precisely what will happen -- but that was the intention of the tax. (Tapper, 11/18)
Steve Rattner: Jonathan Gruber Was 'The Man' On Obamacare
Jonathan Gruber was “the man” behind Obamacare, according to a former adviser to President Barack Obama. “The problem is not that Gruber helped them put Obamacare together, because he was the man,” Steve Rattner, who worked as Obama’s lead adviser in 2009 for the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “The problem is what he said in the last two weeks and how the White House has handled it,” Rattner added. (Breitman, 11/18)
Meanwhile, efforts by a key administration official are also scrutinized.
Key Obamacare Official Used Threats, 'Tantrums' To Push Website Launch Despite Concerns, Email Claims
A key Obamacare official engaged in a “cruel and uncaring march” to launch the federal health care website last year and wasn’t open to seeking a delay despite concerns, according to a newly revealed email from her former second-in-command. ... In the September 2013 email to Todd Park, the former Chief Technology Officer of the U.S., [Michelle Snyder, the then-chief technology officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,] characterized her then-boss, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, as a temper tantrum-throwing, demanding official who vowed the website would launch on time "no matter what." Snyder implied that Tavenner had threatened her job if Snyder was unable to deliver. (McNeal, 11/19)