The Gruber tapes, which detailed chief healthcare law adviser Jonathan Gruber’s intimate thoughts and feelings on the intellectual inferiority of the American public, may not have had the rousing media impact that they should have had, but they are impacting something: Jonathan Gruber’s employment status.
Apparently, after the White House and Congress were done with him, Gruber was hired on in a few states to help them organize individual healthcare platforms. Last week, Vermont, which had hired Gruber at his going rate of $400K, let him go after only paying him $160K. The Democrat governor there insisted that his comments were unacceptable, and that they did not reflect how Vermont’s government did things, even if the Federal government was happy to embrace Gruber’s unique marketing strategies. Yesterday, Gruber found himself out another gig in North Carolina.
North Carolina’s state auditor on Thursday terminated a contract with Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economics professor and health-care expert whose comments on the Affordable Care Act have generated fury among conservatives.
Auditor Beth Wood (D) had hired Gruber to analyze the state’s Community Care of North Carolina program, which provides managed care to the poor and disabled. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and state lawmakers involved in reforming the state’s Medicaid system were studying whether to include the Community Care program in the reformed system.
Wood’s office, in consultation with the Republican-led legislature, hired Gruber last November. He spent the year finding and analyzing data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
This firing was a tiny bit different from Vermont’s: North Carolina didn’t want to associate itself with the White House’s plans for passing healthcare, and preferred to appear independent. Now that Gruber’s name was out there with negative associations, North Carolina wants to take its business to someone a little further out of the public eye.