Jonathan Gruber

Jonathan Gruber

Earlier efforts at health-care reform under the Clinton administration and subsequent initiatives in Massachusetts were aimed at “moving toward universal coverage,” because “everyone had lots of money,” MIT professor Jonathan Gruber stated in a 2011 interview unearthed by WND.

Gruber was speaking to the health-care journal Nursing Economics for a Sept. 1, 2011, piece titled “Health reform in Massachusetts and the United States: an interview with Jonathan Gruber.”

Gruber, an architect of previous Massachusetts health-reform efforts, was asked how he became involved in advising the state.

He replied: “If you remember those days of government surpluses in the late ’90s and early 2000s, at the end of the Clinton administration, HRSA (the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration) gave grants to the states to think about moving toward universal coverage, because everyone had lots of money.

“Massachusetts used some of their HRSA money to pay me to model various options for Massachusetts moving to universal coverage,” he added. “I developed a Massachusetts-specific version of my model.”

Gruber recalled the state reaching out to him to help then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s heath-care reform.

“That was in early 2001-2002 and then, of course, the state’s fiscal situation came crashing down with the dot-com crash. Around 2004, they reached out to me and said, ‘Governor Romney is interested in doing health care reform. You have got the models calibrated for Massachusetts already, and we want to use that to help figure out the alternatives.'”

Gruber, an MIT economics professor, has been making headlines for candid statements on Obamacare captured on video.

He said regarding the passage of Obamacare that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

“And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get anything to pass,” he said.

Gruber conceded the bill might have lost support if voters had known that healthier individuals would pay more to subsidize the sick.

In an interview with MSNBC, Gruber apologized for remarks documented in the first of a number of videos that recently surfaced.

“The comments in the video were made at an academic conference,” Gruber said. “I was speaking off the cuff. I basically spoke inappropriately. I regret having made those comments.”

With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.

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