Originally Jonathan Gruber was set up as an Independent analyst telling us that Obamacare was wonderful. That was until January 2010 when we learned he was on the federal payroll. As we go through the almost daily revelations about Gruber and the stupid Americans its important to remember his first scandal.

The post below was originally published on  1/8/10:

Jon Gruber, a prominent MIT economist has been one of the country’s leading advocates of the Democratic Party’s health care reform legislation. Most recently he wrote an editorial for the Washington Post in support of the Cadillac Tax

As we prepare for the final round of debate over health reform, perhaps the most contentious issue will be financing…So in the end, we have a policy that provides the necessary financing to pay for subsidies to low-income families; induces employers to buy more cost-effective health insurance, lowering U.S. health-care spending; offsets a bias in our tax system that favors more expensive insurance; and raises wages by $223 billion over 10 years. To put a twist on an old saying: The Senate assessment on high-cost insurance plans doesn’t walk like a tax or talk like a tax — because it is not a tax. It is an innovative way of financing the health reform we so desperately need.

Huh its not a tax? I am not an economist,and the closest I have ever been to MIT was taking my Nephew Joshua out for dinner when he was getting his PHD from MIT, but the Cadillac tax is a tax. In fact its a tax that will effect the middle class.  What would motivate a MIT Professor to say something as disingenuous as that?

…Could it be a big fat $297,600 contract from the Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate healthcare options?

The Contract was awarded in July of 2009. According to the job description it looks as if the position was created just for him.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), intends to negotiate with Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D. on a sole sources basis for technical assistance in evaluating options for national healthcare reform. The basis for restricting competition is the authority of 41 USC 253(c)(1) 106-1(b) because there is only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy DHHS requirements. The anticipated contract period will be eight months.

ASPE requires a technical memorandum on the estimated changes in health insurance coverage and associated costs and impacts to the government under alternative specifications of health system reform. The requirement includes developing estimates of various health reform proposals on health insurance coverage and cost. The alternative specifications to be considered will be derived from the President’s health reform proposal. This project is a continuation of work that Dr. Gruber is currently providing for ASPE.

In other words the guy going around the country pushing Obamacare was hired by the government. That wouldn’t bad except for the fact Gruber doesn’t tell people that he works for the government,that he received almost 300,000 dollars from HHS.  Take a look at the bio from his recent WAPO piece referenced above:

The writer is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He did the same scam when he wrote about health care for the Washington Monthly:

Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at MIT and a member of the Massachusetts Health Connector Board.

I am reminded of the old Grouch Marx joke. He asks a woman if she will sleep with him for a million dollars. She answers yes.  He then asks if she will sleep with him for ten dollars. She answers indignantly, “What Kind of Girl Do You Think I am?” Groucho says, “We’ve already established that, now we are negotiating price.”

Clearly we have already established that with Dr Gruber, and we also have a good idea of his price. He is selling himself as a professor of economics which implies impartiality, when actually he is a government Obamacare salesman, and that is a disgrace to academia and to the American people.

Next time the President says one of his programs is supported by economists…take a second look.