Networks Again Punt on E-Mails Showing Gruber’s Deeper Role with WH on ObamaCare

The top English and Spanish-language broadcast networks again ignored on Monday night a new development in the Jonathan Gruber saga as new e-mails have surfaced that revealed how his role with the White House on ObamaCare was more detailed than previously thought.

As initially reported by The Wall Street Journal, e-mails given to the House Oversight Committee “show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act.”

In addition, Gruber was said to have “informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role.”

While there was zero coverage to be found on the Monday evening newscasts of English-language networks ABC, CBS, and NBC and Spanish-language networks MundoFox, Telemundo, and Univision, the Fox News Channel (FNC) show Special Report with Bret Baier provided a full report on the new details concerning Gruber’s role in ObamaCare.

Correspondent Shannon Bream explained that: “New findings by the House Oversight Committee reveal a higher level of involvement by M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber in the crafting of the Affordable Care Act than the administration has previously admitted.”

Digging into the specifics of the e-mails, Bream elaborated:

In late 2009 e-mails, Gene Lambrew, who worked at both the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, and the White House, referred to Gruber has, quote, “an integral part” of the process, later calling him, quote, “our hero.” The e-mails show an ongoing stream of conversations between Gruber and other top Obama administration staff members, including then Director of Office Management and Budget, Peter Orzag.

As for the House committee’s next step on this issue, Bream concluded her report by mentioning that Committee Chairman and Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz (Utah) wrote to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and “requested detailed information about Gruber’s work for HHS with a deadline of next Tuesday.”

Instead of covering Gruber, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley devoted 48 seconds of its show to teasing and touting viral video of how a cat played the role of stowaway on a glider plane as it flew over French Guiana.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on June 22 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
June 22, 2015
6:24 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: “An Integral Part”]

BRET BAIER: And we're learning more tonight just about how involved a controversial economist was in shaping President Obama’s health care law. Here’s correspondent Shannon Bream.

SHANNON BREAM: New findings by the House Oversight Committee reveal a higher level of involvement by M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber in the crafting of the Affordable Care Act than the administration has previously admitted. 

FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THOMAS DUPREE JR: This is not someone who is, outside the tent. This is someone directly at the center of the tent. 

BREAM: In late 2009 e-mails, Gene Lambrew, who worked at both the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, and the White House, referred to Gruber has, quote, “an integral part” of the process, later calling him, quote, “our hero.” The e-mails show an ongoing stream of conversations between Gruber and other top Obama administration staff members, including then Director of Office Management and Budget, Peter Orzag. 

(....)

BREAM: Yet, when videos of Gruber surfaced last year in which he referred to the stupidity of the American voter and also discussed the subsidies now at issue before the Supreme Court, several top ObamaCare players sought to distance themselves from him, downplaying his impact or that they even knew him at all.

(....)

BREAM: Records show that Gruber had more than 20 appointments to visit the White House, one with the President himself. While testifying on Capitol Hill late last year, Gruber flatly rejected that he was the so-called architect of ObamaCare and officials say today’s revelations are nothing.

(....)

BREAM: In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, GOP Congressman and House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, citting the e-mails, has requested detailed information about Gruber’s work for HHS with a deadline of next Tuesday.

NB Daily Health Care Medical Insurance Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Liberals & Democrats ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Fox News Channel Special Report Hispanic Media Mundo Fox Telemundo Univision Wall Street Journal Video Government & Press ObamaCare Bret Baier Shannon Bream Jonathan Gruber Jason Chaffetz
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