At a press conference today, Nancy Pelosi denied that she even knows Jonathan Gruber, the M.I.T. professor often known as the "architect" or "author" of Obamacare whose comments about the law have created a lot of controversy this week.
"I don't know who is. He didn't help write our bill," Pelosi said. But according to the New York Times, Gruber helped "draft the specifics of the legislation":
After Mr. Gruber helped the administration put together the basic principles of the proposal, the White House lent him to Capitol Hill to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation."
While Congress was debating the bill in 2009, Pelosi's website cited Gruber. (Update: Pelosi also cited Gruber by name during a 2009 press conference.)
Gruber has created controversy by contradicting key claims made by Democrats about the law he helped write.
"If you’re a state and you don’t set up an Exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits," Gruber said during a 2012 speech. The Obama administration chose to give tax credits to residents of states that didn't set up their own exchanges, and a lawsuit now threatens to reverse that action and derail the law. Gruber now denies that he meant what he said in 2012.
When a study came out showing that Obamacare increased Emergency Room visits, contrary to claims of the law's supporters, Gruber said the claim that it would lower costs was "misleading."
"The law isn't designed to save money. It's designed to improve health, and that's going to cost money," Gruber said.
This week, a video emerged in which Gruber said the law was written in a "tortured way" to mislead the American people.
"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the [individual] mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies,” Gruber said. “In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are gonna pay in — you’ve made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Okay? Just like the...people — transparent — lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever."