Jonathan Gruber Defends Getting Paid to Shill for Obamacare “Technical Analysis”.
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Read our exclusive interview with Rich Weinstein, the man behind the Gruber videos and find out why they matter to our ongoing discussion about Obamacare.
Q: What led you to look into Dr. Jonathan Gruber?
A: Sometime last fall or early winter the ACA really started to get controversial. That’s when the whole “you can keep your plan” thing hit hard. My family got our cancellation notice sometime around then. As it turns out, my family’s premiums did double.
Anyhow, also around that time, I started to notice people in the media that were referring to themselves as “architects” of the Affordable Care Act that were out there trying to explain to people what was going on and why.
Q: How did you find the video? And why didn’t anyone else see it?
A: The more I watched the news the more I realized that the Administration wasn’t going to give us the truth. And the more I watched the news the more I realized that the media wasn’t doing their homework and they were just acting as cheerleaders for one side or the other. But when I saw these “architects” showing up, I thought maybe they had left a trail behind. So I tried to find out who these “architects” were and started watching video, specifically of from after the ACA was passed until things started getting screwy last year. My theory was that they might be out there taking a victory lap and might be blabbing things that- well, in retrospect- they might regret. I was looking for the truth.
Q: So who were you looking at?
A: The first guy I researched was David Cutler. He specialized in the cost control aspect of the ACA. He seemed like a pretty straight shooter. The only thing that caught my eye about him- and this is all from memory- was that I saw him cheerleading at an Organizing for America meeting. I thought that was a bit odd. From all the video I saw he was very factual and well thought out. To see him on the political side seemed out of character or out of context. I probably spent a week watching David Cutler and taking notes.
Q: So Jonathan Gruber was next?
A: No. Actually I started to try to research Ezekiel Emanuel but he was just out there, everywhere. And he was still apart of the Administration so there was no use spending time on him. He didn’t speak as an “architect” but more of person simply advocating the position of the Administration. He spoke loudly, quickly, and it basically gave me a headache trying to watch video of him.
And then came Jonathan Gruber. By the way, there were two after Jonathan Gruber that I looked into: Jon McDonough, Jon Kingsdale. But by then, after watching all the Gruber video I started to write the book to see how far I could get and then maybe do more research on those two guys- which I never got to.
Q: What did you do when you found the video?
A: Well, nothing. It caught my ear and I made a note of it but nothing really. As I look back on my typed notes, I found that video about in the middle of the Gruber research. But then, one night in January, January 15th to be exact, I saw a post or article about the lawsuit Oklahoma was pursuing with regard to the subsidies. I also saw that Indiana was running with a similar argument.
I ran up to my desk and found my notes then rewatched the entire video to make sure I had what I thought I had. When I was sure, I tried to find the right people to send it to.
Q: What happened next?
Nothing. That’s what is so crazy. I sent the video link to the Attorney General of the State of Indiana on January 15th. See below. This is the first time to my knowledge anyone has actually seen this email:
To: Constituent <Constituent@atg.in.gov>
Sent: Wed, Jan 15, 2014 10:35 pm Subject: Video to help your case regarding the ACA Subsidies
Dear Sir: Regarding your lawsuit with respect to subsidies being paid by the ACA for states that do not run their own exchanges, see above video. At around the 32 minute mark the speaker proclaims something to the effect that: if states do not set up the exchange, those citizens don’t get the tax credits.
This is Jonathan Gruber, MIT Professor and architect of the ACA. If you check the on-line White House records you’ll see his name several times. He was part of the Romneycare mplementation and was called to Washington to help build the ACA. If you want to prove that the law is NOT being implemented as written, then this is your guy.
I’ve reviewed hours and hours of video of Jonathan Gruber because I intend to write a book about the false premises used to pass the law. He along with another architect, Dr. David Cutler, seem to be the only two people I can find that were both there and on video telling the truth about the ACA.
Please forward this information to your colleagues in Oklahoma and Virginia who are following the same path regarding the subsidies. It looks like the lawsuit in the DC District Court got turned away.
I’m not a lawyer and don’t have any vested interest in this situation other than being a citizen of that’s horrified at what’s taking place. The Executive Branch simply cannot change laws as written.
Best of luck. If there’s anything else I can possibly do to assist, please let me know. XXXXXX XXX-XXX-XXXX
Q: Nothing happened after that?
A: Not a thing. I was watching the news waiting for it to get out. I also, by then because of all the research I had done, thought I had enough to write a book about the law and what I learned from the “Architects.” That’s what I was going to call the book.
Q: What else did you do to try to get this information out?
A: As much as I could. Remember, I’m just a regular guy who has something that he thinks is important but maybe nobody else does. I tried to contact what I considered were important people who were writing about the ACA. I know I tried to get to Avik Roy, Jonah Goldberg, Breitbart (the citizen journalism people), and more. Heck, I even stopped in at the local political office in the Spring. I wound up talking to some young people that probably thought I was nuts.
Q: How’s the book coming along?
A: It’s not. I’m probably like most people. I had a great idea but life got in the way and I couldn’t get it done. I did actually start it though! I tried to find a local professional writer to help me and that fell apart too.
As a matter of fact, it was only a few weeks ago I took the time to clean my office and saw the pile of notes and my Gruber comic book and tossed them all out. I gave up on the topic. Before I said I was talking about David Cutler from memory. I tossed out all of my handwritten notes on him and didn’t keep a record.
Q: But for Jonathan Gruber you did?
A: Yes. I hand wrote my notes on David Cutler but I was typing my notes on Dr. Gruber into a file as I was watching the video.
Q: Basically you’re saying that if your hand didn’t get tired from writing or if you started your research with Gruber instead of Cutler the trail to this video would have been destroyed?
Q: So take us to last week, when the video was finally found. How’d that all happen?
A: Two courts ruled last week on the challenge regarding the subsidies. There were actually four cases going concurrently, the two from last week, Oklahoma and Indiana. When those two cases were ruled upon, the media started to put out some interesting pieces because one of the rulings was for the ACA and one was against the ACA.
Remember, by this time I had pretty much forgotten about the whole thing so when I saw the stories on the rulings they got my attention.
Q: How did the video get to CEI and Ryan Radia?
A: I had no idea who those people were. I had forgotten that there were four cases. And when the rulings came out, I actually thought they were for Indiana and Oklahoma.
I saw a write up on the website Instapundit and linked to the Washington Post story. I actually don’t know what the Volokh Conspiracy is but that was the heading of the Washington Post story.
I saw some comments and decided to chime in with a link the video I had. Again, I had forgotten the whole thing and had to go back to my typed notes to figure out what I had.
Someone did see the comment and link to the video I put out there and started to spread it around a bit. And then I went to bed for the night. Ryan saw my comment and video link at some point during the day and knew what to do with it. His organization CEI sponsored the two lawsuits that were ruled on last week.
Q: So Friday was pretty crazy?
A: I woke up and did a quick search on “Jonathan Gruber.” I was absolutely shocked when my name popped up next to his from what CEI had put on their website and also on a Forbes article I think. But there wasn’t much else. Then the momentum got out of control and the video went viral. It started out with maybe 700 views and now its probably close to 40,000 with other clips of the important segment probably over… well, who knows.
I paid attention throughout the day but had a meeting for a couple of hours. On my way back from my meeting I stopped for a sandwich and my friend texted me and told me that Rush Limbaugh was talking about it. So I found Rush’s station but missed the segment. He came back from break and was talking about how the White House was responding and that they had prepared answers to the question. I almost choked on my lunch.
Then I heard that Dr. Gruber got called out of a meeting and for some reason felt compelled to respond with his now famous “Speak-O” line.
Q: What did you think when you heard that?
A: By this part of the day I had time to go review what I had on video to see if I had anything else on the subject. I didn’t. But as part of his “Speak-O” comment he mentioned that he never expected that there would be 50 exchanges and I had video of him saying the exact opposite. So I put that out there on my buddy’s blog over the weekend. You can see it: http://colossus.mu.nu/archives/350763.php
Q: You must have gotten a ton of people calling you. Has it been manageable?
A: Actually, I’m surprised nobody but you has tried to talk with me. I did see a post about me that said I was going to be on Fox News. I thought that was pretty funny since it wasn’t true.
I guess if there was really any intellectual curiosity in the media they would find me and ask me what I think is the most important question of all.
Q: And that would be?
A: Rich, what else do you have?
Q: You have more?
A: Yes. But not as it relates to the Fed/State subsidy question. But what I have I think is just as crucial. It might not hit like the tidal wave like the Noblis video did but I think what I have is very, very important.
Q: If anyone wants to contact you, how should they do it?
A: They should go through the Colossus website noted above. He has it set up so I get emails from there.
Q: What are you going to do with the other videos you have?
A: Actually, I’m not sure what to do with them.