Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who took office in January, has fired embattled Obamacare architect MIT professor Jonathan Gruber from the Massachusetts Health Connector Board.
It’s a blow to Gruber, who played a key role in the establishment of the board when it was set up to administer RomneyCare. Gruber went on to play a similar role in the passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
As first reported by Jon Keller at WBZ-TV, Baker “demanded and received the resignations of four members of the state Health Connector board, including MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber…Gruber was appointed to the board in 2006 by then Governor Mitt Romney and re-appointed by Governor Deval Patrick. The other three board members asked to resign – John Bertko, Rick Jakious and George Gonser – were all original Patrick appointees.”
Baker thanked Gruber and the other three members of the Board “for their service,” as well as “for agreeing to resign from [the] board.”
As Keller reported, the Health Connector Board has “become a lightning-rod for consumer complaints about the failure of the once-vaunted online health-care marketplace to transition to the more complex requirements of ObamaCare.”
In his letter announcing the resignations, Baker said:
As with all incoming administrations, I am establishing a new leadership team and I have instructed those individuals to take a fresh look at the Connector and to implement ideas to improve the operation of that important state entity.
It was another bad day in a long string of bad days for Gruber.
Earlier in the week, Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer issued a scathing report on Gruber’s billing practices and concluded that Gruber had likely overbilled Vermont in connection with his 2014 contract with the state.
Auditor Hoffer referred the matter to Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell for further action.
Barely an hour before news of Gruber’s firing in Massachusetts broke, Darcie Johnston, head of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, called on Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to fire Robin Lunge, the Vermont bureaucrat who had supervised Gruber’s contract there.
Johnston noted that Auditor Hoffer’s report included a “smoking gun” that revealed “Lunge … passed on false information provided to her by Gruber to Auditor Hoffer as he conducted his inquiry.”
Breitbart News asked Professor Gruber for comment but has not received a response.