Jonathan Gruber, described as an “architect” of Obamacare, had a much larger role in the making of the law than initially known, according to emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
This is significant as the Supreme Court moves closer to announcing its decision in King v. Burwell, which is expected to determine whether subsidies can go to people on the federal Obamacare exchange in addition to state-run exchanges.
As evidence against the government, the complaint mentions MIT economist Jonathan Gruber several times as an architect of Obamacare.
“If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits … I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges, and that they’ll do it.” Gruber said in January 2012.
The plaintiff's brief in King v. Burwell goes on to identify how Gruber is characterized by media reports as a “key architect” of the Affordable Care Act who was paid “close to $400,000 as a consultant” by the Department of Health and Human Services during 2009 and 2010, according to a Nov. 15 New York Times story. Another Times article on March 29 said Gruber helped congressional staff “draft the specifics of the legislation.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on emails from January 2009 and March 2010 between Gruber and the White House, where the MIT economist offered advice on the law.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told the Journal the messges disprove Gruber’s claim he was a limited participant in creating the health care law. Chaffetz said the committee has obtained 20,000 pages of emails.
“His proximity to HHS and the White House was a whole lot tighter than they admitted,” Chaffetz said. “There’s no doubt he was a much more integral part of this than they’ve said.”