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Maine Paid Jonathan Gruber for Obamacare Advice

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MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, the architect of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), was commissioned by the Maine Bureau of Insurance for economic consulting services related to the implementation of the president’s health care overhaul.

Gruber made headlines recently for comments about the implementation of Obamacare, claiming that the health care overhaul was written in a deceptive way to cover the true costs of the bill.  “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” he said.  “And basically, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

In order to sell Obamacare to the general public, the president campaigned heavily on the idea that the ACA would lower premiums while ensuring health care for millions.  However, while he was promising lower premiums, his health care adviser, Gruber, was privately warning many states that the opposite would in fact happen.

In a report commissioned by the state of Maine, Gruber predicted that premiums in the Individual Insurance Market would rise significantly due to Obamacare.

“There will be significant premium increases in the this market with an estimated 57% of the market experiencing average increases of 37% as compared to prereform premiums, even after accounting for tax subsidies,” said Gruber in his report.

ACA effects

While premiums would increase for many, he added that health care coverage would be much more comprehensive. Tax subsidies will be the major driving factor of lower premiums for the remaining 43%.

Likewise, the report predicts that premiums will increase for 89% of the Small Employer Groups in Maine due to Obamacare.

According to the report, as many as 7,000 Mainers would lose their insurance because of Obamacare by 2014. However, over 15,000 individuals have been dropped from their insurance due to Obamacare, more than double the number Gruber estimated.

Maine taxpayers paid Gruber’s organization, Gorman Actuarial, $445,000 dollars for the report, more than he was paid to consult on the writing of the Affordable Care Act.

Steve Robinson contributed to this report.

About Nathan Strout

Nathan Strout is a Development Associate with The Maine Heritage Policy Center as well as a staff writer for The Maine Wire. Born and raised in Portland, Strout is a graduate of Eastern University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Legal Studies.

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