One Week Later, Vermont Signs Contract with Jonathan Gruber

One Week Later, Vermont Signs Contract with Jonathan Gruber

The “architect” of Obamacare is officially taking a pay cut. 

One week after Vermont health care reform chief Lawrence Miller publicly announced that the State of Vermont would not pay controversial MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber any more money, but that the state still expected him to deliver the work specified in his contract, an official of the state and Gruber have signed an amended contract.

Under the amended terms, the total compensation Gruber will receive has been reduced from $450,000 to $280,000. $50,000 of that $170,000 reduction is due to the removal of Gruber’s use of Moody Analytics as a subcontractor.

Gruber’s compensation will be reduced from $200,000 to $80,000 (in effect, a reduction of his hourly rate from $500 per hour to $200 per hour), but his research assistants will still receive the $200,000 specified in the original contract.

Gruber has already been paid $160,000, $80,000 of which is for his services delivered between mid-July and the end of September. $80,000 of this amount is for the services of his research assistants during that time period. 

Gruber has apparently agreed to withdraw his claim to $20,000 of the $40,000 that has been billed, but was retained by the state until the completion of the contract. The additional $20,000 retained by the state against services billed by Gruber for work already performed by his research assistants will be paid upon the completion of the contract.

The contract’s completion date and deliverable–assistance to the administration of Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin in the production of a Green Mountain Care single-payer health care plan to be delivered to the state legislature on January 15, 2015–remains unchanged. 

That report is scheduled to be delivered just days after the state legislature convenes to select Vermont’s next governor in a secret ballot. Under the 1793 Vermont Constitution, when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the legislature convenes in January to select the governor.

In the November general election, neither incumbent Shumlin nor Republican challenger Scott Milne received more than 50% of the vote. Shumlin received 89,509 votes to Milne’s 87,075 votes. Only once in the state’s history–1853–has the state legislature selected the second-place candidate as governor when neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote.

Gruber will bill and be paid $100,000 for the services of his research assistance between October 1, 2014 and January 15, 2015.

The terms of the amended contract generally follow the details Miller outlined last week, with one significant exception: the additional $120,000 in compensation related to the performance of the work, as amended, will still be paid to Jonathan Gruber personally.

As with the original contract, there is no verification or accountability specified by the state to confirm whether or not Gruber disburses these funds only to his research assistants, as promised in the original and amended contract.

Gruber signed the amended contract on Monday. Vermont’s Secretary of the Agency of Administration Jeb Spaulding signed it on Tuesday.

Though the original contract (signed in July 2014) specifies that any amendments to the contract must be signed by both parties and approved by the Attorney General of the State of Vermont in order to be valid, the amended contract specifically states that the Attorney General’s approval is not required.

Breitbart News has contacted the office of the Attorney General, William Sorrell, for comment on the amended contract with Jonathan Gruber, but has not yet received a response.


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