State Auditor Beth Wood has terminated a contract with MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber after the health care policy expert came under fire for controversial comments involving how the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. ……The auditor's office will end up paying Gruber $100,000 for work that has already been completed.…
Months before Gruber made his remarks, state lawmakers ordered the Office of the State Auditor to study the effectiveness of Community Care of North Carolina, which provides a "medical home" for many patients enrolled in the state's Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled. The service works like a layer of managed care, ensuring patients make it to appointments, get their medicines and follow through on doctors' instructions.
Lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory's Department of Health and Human Services have been working on various Medicaid reform plans, and a key question is how much money CCNC saves taxpayers and whether it should be included as a component of whatever new effort takes shape.
In September 2013, the auditor's office consulted with the legislative leaders and discussed hiring Gruber, who had worked on the federal Affordable Care Act as well as Massachusetts' health care law. He was formally hired on Nov. 4, 2013, shortly after he made the controversial remarks, which went largely unnoticed at the time.
Keep in mind Gov. McCrory's statements about expanding Medicaid in NC once the program has been "reformed." Now we find out that Obamacare and Romneycare architect Gruber was chosen to help guide that reform.
Can we trust legislative leaders and McCrory's administration to reform Medicaid knowing whose advice they sought?