Handy scapegoat

November 22, 2014

Rutland Herald

I find Rob Roper’s commentary on Jonathan Gruber to be nothing more than a political scapegoating process to cynically confuse Vermonters.

Jonathan Gruber has certainly said some offensive and insulting things that clearly point out his cynical view of some of the processes and techniques used to draft legislation. We all dislike this, find it disturbing and are insulted. Gruber has been remarkably consistent in saying these things to several different state and national forums over a period of years where legislators, lobbyists, staffers and other experts were present. A few of these have even been videotaped, transparent! But no one is saying it is not true.

Yet his technical competence in his narrow field of expertise of health care finance draws people from disparate political persuasions to continue to call upon him for this financial expertise. Google him, read his resume, read his list of publications, many of which have been peer reviewed. Note that the timeline goes back to the time when the very conservative Heritage Foundation proposed the basis of Mitt Romney’s care in Massachusetts. This of course is the basis of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. No one is saying he is an incompetent health care financial expert. No one.

Now a few Vermont Republican legislative leaders have jumped on this hype to scapegoat Gruber to get him fired, but really to smear Peter Shumlin.

As expected, Rob Roper and others in the Ethan Allen Institute have also jumped on supporting this shallow and false scapegoating of Gruber. It aligns with their political agenda.

Now Campaign for Vermont, led by Bruce Lisman, is doing the same. It is now clear that they are fully aligned with the Ethan Allen Institute and the Republican agenda on health care.

Bob Zeliff