A Politico 'Gotcha Moment'? Is Paige Winfield Cunningham Bowing to Pressure on Gruber?

A Politico 'Gotcha Moment'? Is Paige Winfield Cunningham Bowing to Pressure on Gruber?

A new Politico item by Paige Winfield Cunningham asks a timely and perhaps interesting question: New Obamacare furor: Was Jonathan Gruber the “architect”? 

But what may prove more interesting to some is how Cunningham appeared to have no problem identifying his key role back in July, even if her reporting today attempts to make it a bit more ambiguous.

Today’s item does say Gruber played a “valued role,” in contrast to recent comments by Democrat Nancy Pelosi that she’d never heard of him, despite her having previously cited his work. However, it also goes a long, long way in pointing out Democrat talking points that Gruber was simply one of many and perhaps not even that important to the legislation in the long run.

Pelosi’s comment notwithstanding, few dispute that Gruber played a valued role for the White House and congressional Democrats as the Affordable Care Act was being crafted in 2009 and 2010.

Obamacare backers — including some Democratic Hill aides past and present who didn’t want to be quoted by name — are miffed that Gruber depicts himself as the architect, given that hundreds of people were involved in the law’s drafting, drawing on new ideas as well as those that had been analyzed and debated for years.

“Gruber is like a lot of people who were involved in the debate. He’s an economist. He’s not a political analyst or commentator,” said Jay Angoff, who used to oversee Affordable Care Act implementation for HHS and who does not know the economist personally. “He’s not a legislator. He’s not a staff guy. He’s like 300 million other Americans who can have their opinion.”

But strangely enough, one person Cunningham doesn’t cite – or link – is herself as author of a previous Politico item from July 25th of this year. Perhaps we should call this A Politico Gotcha Moment? Cunningham seemed to have no problem acknowledging Gruber’s key role in July, perhaps causing some to speculate … what’s changed?

An Obamacare gotcha moment

One of Obamacare’s chief architects, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, just handed conservatives a gotcha moment.

Health law opponents and conservative academics are highlighting a two-year-old video of Gruber — who has advised both the Obama administration and then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health reform effort — in which he seems to agree that the law’s health insurance subsidies can’t be awarded through federal-run exchanges, only through the state-run markets.