Gruber subpoenaed over ObamaCare contracts

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ObamaCare consultant Jonathan Gruber has been subpoenaed for documents related to his work on the healthcare law after refusing to give details about his compensation to House lawmakers. 

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) issued the order late Thursday, asking for a full account of Gruber’s contracts with federal and state health insurance exchanges. 

{mosads}The decision follows a tense hearing earlier in the week in which Gruber, infamous for his comment that the “stupidity of the American voter” helped ObamaCare to pass, repeatedly declined to say how much he was paid as a consultant on the law. 

Issa vowed to follow through with a subpoena and to possibly bring Gruber back to testify. The California Republican will be replaced as chairman in January by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). 

“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 Friday. 

“This week, Dr. Gruber repeatedly refused to answer several key questions, including the amount of taxpayer funds he received for his work on ObamaCare. The American people deserve not just an apology, but a full accounting, which Dr. Gruber must provide.”

The subpoena means that Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, will remain a figure of interest on Capitol Hill at least into early 2015. 
Issa’s Democratic counterpart, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), blasted the subpoena for excluding documents from Gruber’s time as a consultant on the Massachusetts healthcare that inspired ObamaCare.

“Rep. Issa has now issued his 110th unilateral subpoena with no committee debate or vote since he became chairman four years ago,” Cummings said in a statement.

“Walling off documents relating to the 2012 Republican nominee for president exposes this subpoena for exactly what it is — the latest attempt in the one-sided Republican political campaign to attack the Affordable Care Act.”

The saga began in early November when videos went viral showing Gruber blasting voters while discussing the passage of the healthcare law.  

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber told an audience in one clip. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

Gruber has apologized for the remarks — and did so repeatedly in Tuesday’s committee hearing — but his expressions of remorse have done little to squelch the story. 

Republicans are now using his choice not to provide a full account of his federal and state contracts to get more mileage out of the controversy. 

Gruber said Tuesday that his disclosures from the current and previous two fiscal years were all that is required under House rules. 

Conferring with his lawyer in the audience, he argued that his disclosure is “in compliance” with committee standards. 

The conflict produced some of the hearing’s tensest moments.

“What are you hiding?” Chaffetz asked at one point. “Why won’t you give those to us? Why are we not entitled to those? … Do you not understand the question?”

“Gruber testified and did not disclose he was being paid by the Obama administration. That is deception at its highest form,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) yelled. 

Issa is asking Gruber to provide all documents and communications that mention the Affordable Care Act or provide details about his government contracts. 

This story was updated at 4:14 p.m.

Tags Darrell Issa Jonathan Gruber ObamaCare

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