Patterico's Pontifications


Politico Reporter Has Incredible Change of Mind on Whether Gruber Is a Chief “Architect” of ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

Paige Winfield Cunningham (remember the name: it becomes important) had a piece in Politico on November 13 titled New Obamacare furor: Was Jonathan Gruber the “architect”? (Politico boycott suspended for this post so I can more easily mock them.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 7.07.35 AM

Democrats are miffed that he portrays himself as a chief architect of ObamaCare:

Democrats are miffed that Gruber has portrayed himself as the “architect” of Obamacare. If he had stuck with being among the legion of policy and technical experts who played a role in the massive legislation, his insulting words wouldn’t have been so combustible.

I said, Democrats are really miffed that he portrays himself as a chief architect of ObamaCare:

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.

(Editor? Is there an editor in the house?) I’m sure this has nothing to do with how Democrats feel, but: Paige Winfield Cunningham then offers her own editorial analysis, saying in effect: hey, guys, it’s not like this guy is a chief architect of ObamaCare or anything:

But while conservatives are all but labeling him the giver of Obamacare in their effort to wring political points out of his statements, Gruber wasn’t the first to suggest such central components as the law’s exchanges, mandates, insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion.

And, the law’s proponents point out, he was more of a scorekeeper than an actual creator of the law.

But on July 25, 2014, the same reporter, Paige Winfield Cunningham, had a different view:

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.

So it’s not like he’s an “actual creator” of the law — just one of its “chief architects.” You see the distinction, don’t you? Yeah, me neither.

I love their creative use of photos, by the way:

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Note the consistent spin in both stories. The story is not Gruber’s comments, but how they are being highlighted by Republicans. How they give Republicans a “gotcha moment.” How Republicans “wring political points out of his statements.”

The stories are not about the content of what Gruber said, but how opportunistic Republicans try to exploit what he said. That is a time-honored Big Media tactic for minimizing embarrassing statements by Democrats.

So is totally changing their story on a key fact to fit Democrats’ political needs.

Thanks to Jimmy Princeton on Twitter.

10 Responses to “Politico Reporter Has Incredible Change of Mind on Whether Gruber Is a Chief “Architect” of ObamaCare”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Love the picture of Gruber. He looks excessively bored at some committee meeting. It’s probably because at the moment the picture was taken someone other than he was talking. Oh, the indignities he must have to suffer through!

    JVW (60ca93)

  3. Paige Winfield Cunningham is just a later version of Nina Burleigh, a journalist just like Ms. Cunningham, who offered to fellate Bill Clinton for keeping abortion legal. Ms. Cunningham is servicing her betters in the D Party through the pages of Politico. You go girl!!!!

    Ipso Fatso (10964d)

  4. What, reporters and editors traffick in intellectual and moral fraud? Say it ain’t so…

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  5. Gruber’s role in enacting Obamacare cannot be overstated.

    His work is the basis for Obamacare’s predictions of coverage, cost, etc. And his work, in a carefully orchestrated effort, was flogged by the White House, the DNC, the Senate and various reporters in a manner which led to the perception of a “consensus” that Obamacare was just what the doctor ordered.

    The CBO used a model very similar to the one Gruber concocted to score Obamacare. As noted by Glenn Kessler of the WaPo: “The model, the Gruber Microsimulation Model, is the coin of the realm, in large part because it is similar to the model used by the Congressional Budget Office. That means administration policy-makers could predict with reasonable certainty how CBO would score legislation. Given that legislation in Washington often falls or rises depending on the CBO score, that made this model a very powerful tool for administration officials.”

    Gruber’s work was used, without disclosing his $400,000 contract with the administration and the fact that he would make millions more if Obamacare was enacted, to create a perception of a “consensus.” Jane Hamsher’s March 18, 2010, article on HuffPo details how Gruber’s work mushroomed into a national “consensus.” Titled “How the White House Used Gruber’s Work to Create Appearance of Broad Consensus.” Her entire article is worth reading, but is synthesized in this sentence: “Far more troubling, however, is the lack of disclosure on the part of the White House, the Senate, the DNC and other Democratic leaders who distributed Gruber’s work and cited it as independent validation of their proposals, orchestrating the appearance of broad consensus when in fact it was all part of the same effort.”

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  6. I don’t think your Politico boycott is working. I’d suggest modifying it into an unstated but continuing disinclination to link Politico when reasonable alternatives are available. That’s been my own guideline for withholding links to those to whom I don’t want to drive internet traffic.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  7. one can try ‘do not link’ although sometimes there is Isvestia in Pravda

    narciso (ee1f88)

  8. Well, that was then and this is now. PW Cunningham’s record is perfectly consistent, she parroted the party line selling Obamacare to gullible Congressional Democrats and now she’s parroting the Administration’s talking points to shield Obama (and her Congressional dupes) from the consequences of organized mass treachery against the American people.

    Neither she nor Obama cares for the old-fashioned notion that Congressional Democrats swore to uphold the Constitution or owed their allegiance to the voters who elected them. The pretense of a lost integrity is a small price to pay if the sacrifice protects Barack Obama. It’s the continued ability of the Community Organizer-in-Chief to manufacture public deceptions that counts, it’s all that counts.

    ropelight (fc6fbb)

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