Representative Darrell Issa, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, has followed up on his vow to get to the bottom of the Jonathan Gruber Mystery. Why did the MIT economist, an architect of Obamacare, refuse over a half-dozen times to provide details of his contracts with federal and state governments on Obamacare? Issa has subpoenaed all of Gruber’s records, although it is highly unlikely they will be delivered before he steps down as chairman in January.
“As one of the architects of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber is in a unique position to shed light on the ‘lack of transparency’ surrounding the passage of the President’s health care law, however he has so far been unwilling to fully comply with the Oversight Committee’s repeated requests,” Issa said in a statement. “The American people deserve not just an apology, but a full accounting, which Dr. Gruber must provide.”
Gruber is clearly hiding something, as I note in my piece on the homepage. It may be the total amount he collected from the federal government and the states (which some estimate at $6 million). Or it may be the highly derivative and duplicative nature of the work he delivered to some state governments. Or it may be the background of how he got a non-competitive contract from the Obama administration to do economic modeling that would paint Obama in a fiscally sound light. Or it may be the details of how he influenced the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Obamacare with his models while at the same time serving on their health-care advisory panels — in effect, sitting on both sides of the analysis table.
Whatever the reasons, the Issa subpoena calls for delivery of the following:
1. All documents and communications to or from any federal, state, or local government employee, including, but not limited to, any document or communication referring or relating to the Affordable Care Act or federal and state health care exchanges.
2. All documents and communications referring or relating to funding, for research or otherwise, from any federal, state, or local government agency, including, but not limited to, any contract(s) with a federal, state, or local government agency.
3. All documents and communications referring or relating to work product produced to any federal, state, or local government agency, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, the results of any and all economic models or simulations.