Jonathan Gruber’s Sweetheart Deal

by John McClaughry

Vermont’s attorney general has settled a false claims case with MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, the health care genius who explained to the 2011 legislature that their single payer health care plan would save Vermonters $580 million the very first year.

State auditor Doug Hoffer, who ironically is a big single payer advocate, flagged Gruber’s false claims for compensation  by the state to now departed attorney general William Sorrell. Current AG T. J. Donovan said last week that his office determined that Gruber had violated the Vermont False Claims Act.

How much did Gruber have to pay back to the state? Not a dime. The state had withheld the final $90,000 of his contract, so Donovan said, in effect, “fine, we’ll just keep the money you didn’t earn and we didn’t pay out, and call it all even.” What a sweet deal!

I take special enjoyment out of Gruber getting caught, even though he wasn’t required to compensate the state for his fraudulent claims. In a hearing in 2011 a liberal legislator quoted to Gruber my view of what turned out to be his failed health care plan, namely that it would result in “rationing, waiting lines, maddening bureaucracies, demoralized doctors and nurses, shabby facilities, obsolete technology, declining quality of care, and of course much higher taxation.”

Gruber mockingly replied that “that’s something my teen age son might have written.”  All the single payer backers laughed. But their brilliant single payer plan didn’t fare so well, did it? Who’s laughing now?

- John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

mike seely August 26, 2017 at 2:59 pm

How sweet it must be to have this eloquent vindication. Once again, John McClaughry shows what a valuable asset he is to Vermonters. We should all be grateful for this chap.

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Milton Eaton August 27, 2017 at 8:00 pm

You, I mean we, don’t understand. The advocates can say anything if it sells their goal. If their goal is a disaster, you, I mean we, pay. Doesn’t it seem fair to you. Far better to use their time hassling Vermont’s small, struggling businesses.

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richmonddp@juno.com August 30, 2017 at 2:17 am

I was really ticked off when they let that fraudulent billing, for fraudulent “work” and opposite results showing, goes under the rug – with a flattering photo of Grubber in the Freak Press.

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