He's an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act--but newly released emails reveal that economist Jonathan Gruber worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape the law.
The emails, provided by the House Oversight Committee to The Wall Street Journal, cover messages Gruber sent from January 2009 through March 2010.
"The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act," the WSJ article states. "They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role."
Both President Obama and Gruber (pictured right) have said Gruber did not play a big role in healthcare reform.
Last fall, Gruber claimed that passage of healthcare reform occurred because of a lack of transparency and the stupidity of American voters. Gruber later apologized about his glib comments in front of a House committee, but Republicans jumped on the fact that the so-called "architect" of reform was now criticizing it.
Meanwhile, Gruber distanced himself from the law and the wide-spread "architect" characterization.
Obama denied charges that he mislead Americans about the healthcare reform law in order to get it passed and described Gruber as "some adviser who never worked on our staff."
Now, 20,000 pages of emails suggest that Gruber was more than "some adviser."
"His proximity to HHS and the White House was a whole lot tighter than they admitted," Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the oversight committee, told the WSJ. "There's no doubt he was a much more integral part of this than they've said. He put up this facade he was an arm's length away. It was a farce."
To learn more:
- here's the WSJ article