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Is Jonathan Gruber Heading For Jail?

Jonathan Gruber

Jonathan Gruber, the Obamacare architect that said the universal healthcare law passed only because of the stupidity of the American voter, may be about to get his comeuppance courtesy of his own stupidity and avarice.

Gruber’s billing practices have been under scrutiny in several states where he has contracted to perform an economic analysis for the creation of a state healthcare system.

In Vermont the scandal over his remarks and the fuzzy cost projections brought the creation of the state’s long-planned single-payer health care system to a grinding halt when citizen media and Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy began asking for back-up for Gruber’s bills and reports.

Vermont’s Governor, Democrat Peter Shumlin, all but classified the material calling it advisory in nature and refused to disclose it, but eventually relented in the face of inquiries by Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer.

Now Hoffer has released his report saying, “The evidence suggests that Dr. Gruber overstated the hours worked by the RA, but we have insufficient documentation to say any more about his inconsistencies and questionable billing practices.” Hoffer referred it and Gruber to Vermont’s Attorney General “for his consideration,” says the State Auditor in the conclusion of the report.

Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy, who has been bird dogging Gruber’s billing practices since the beginning notes the “State of Vermont entered into a personal services contract with Dr. Jonathan Gruber in July 2014 for the purpose of “research and economic modeling related to the implementation of Green Mountain Care as passed into law as Act 48 of 2011” (contract #272771). Following news reports of certain remarks made by Dr. Gruber, the administration renegotiated the contract with Dr. Gruber in November 2014. Subsequent public records requests yielded invoices and other documents that raised questions about Dr. Gruber’s billing practices and the State’s monitoring and enforcement of particular contract provisions.”

Translation, there’s so little back-up the Auditor can’t decide who did what, if any, work.

All told, Gruber has billed the State of Vermont $290,000 for work performed on his contract. $150,000 of this billing is for work he says was performed by research assistants, $140,000 is for work he performed himself.

To date, the State of Vermont has paid Gruber $160,000–$80,000 for work he performed, and $80,000 for work he says research assistants performed.

But in his memo released today, Vermont State Auditor Hoffer says Gruber had only a single research assistant, not several. In addition, that research assistant was an employee of Gruber’s who was paid $32,000 for work perfomed in 2014, according to a W-2 Gruber provided to Hoffer.

Gruber also admitted to Hoffer that his research assistant was paid for work conducted other projects in addition to the Vermont project, reports Leahy.

[W]hen asked for documentation, Dr. Gruber provided a W-2 for his sole RA for the Vermont contract, which means he was an employee. Dr. Gruber stated that he relies upon a payroll service to handle these issues because they are “outside [his] area of expertise,” said Vermont State Auditor Hoffer.

If all the payments made by Gruber to his research assistant were totally dedicated to work on the Vermont contract, Gruber himself apparently pocketed at least $48,000 of the $80,000 the state of Vermont has already paid him for work he says was performed by his research assistants.

To make matters worse for Gruber, reports Michael Patrick Leahy, he has submitted outstanding bills requesting an additional $50,000 of payment for work performed by his sole research assistant on the Vermont contract. Adding that to the $20,000 previously billed but not yet paid, Gruber is asking to be paid an additional $70,000 for work he says was performed by his research assistants.

The findings reported in Hoffer’s memo appear to support comments made in January by Darcie Johnston, head of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, who noted that Gruber’s failure to “provide any evidence that the $80,000 he’s been paid by the State of Vermont for 800 hours of work performed by unidentified research assistants” may have been “phantom billing.”

Now it looks like State Auditor Doug Hoffer’s report has confirmed Darcie Johnston’s suspicions.

On his website Hoffer said this about the job of the State Auditor, “Sometimes this type of work angers powerful interests. After all, bureaucrats and special interests don’t like to read that their programs may be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer money. Yet asking difficult questions and speaking uncomfortable truths are exactly the tasks of the state Auditor.”

Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer is a model for elected public officials in this dangerous time when truth, especially in Washington, has become such a malleable thing and government is often of the insiders, by the insiders, and for the insiders. Now let’s hope that Vermont Attorney General  William H. Sorrell has that same kind of integrity and will pursue the ultimate insider, Jonathan Gruber, to the fullest extent of the law.

Click this link to read Michael Patrick Leahy’s latest on the Jonathan Gruber billing scandal.

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I hope they hang the arrogant twerp.

How About This?

Tarred, Feathered, and rode out on a rail. Of course, he has to payback his ill-gotten gains first.