Jonathan Gruber, the health economist who made provocative remarks about “the stupidity of the American voter” apologized repeatedly Tuesday for his statements regarding the Affordable Care Act.
Gruber attacked the ACA recently in videotaped commentary. He blamed “the stupidity of the American voter” and the act’s “lack of transparency” for the legislation’s ultimate approval in 2010.
“I made a series of inexcusable and offensive comments,” Gruber told the House of Representatives and Government Reform Committee Tuesday. “And I apologize for that.”
A healthcare economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gruber was a key thought leader behind the development of the ACA and was called to testify about potential deceptions and transparency issues within the law.
His original videotaped comments fueled Republican outrage. Conservatives have tried to repeal Obamacare repeatedly, and they were able to seize upon Gruber’s comments as proof that the legislation isn’t in Americans’ best interest. Gruber at one point in the videos says the law was written in a “very tortured way” to hide taxes built into the act.
One top Democrat on the committee, Elijah Cummings, called Gruber’s statements “stupid” and “insulting.”
“Your statement was especially harmful because it gave opponents of the ACA a PR gift,” Cummings said.
Gruber continued to apologize, but stood firm that the development process of Obamacare was fair and transparent. This includes his economic models that indicated the costs and benefits of healthcare policy changes.