State officials released an amended contract with MIT economist Jonathan Gruber Tuesday evening, lowering the maximum amount payable to $280,000.
Gruber had a personal services contract with Vermont that was to pay him as much as $400,000 to test economic models related to Gov. Peter Shumlin’s universal, publicly-financed health care proposal.
But his work has come under fire, and a number of high profile Republicans have called for the contract to be terminated because of the questionable comments Gruber made on several occasions in the last several years.
During a 2011 hearing of the House Health Care Committee, then-Chairman Mark Larson read aloud comments written by John McClaughry, a former state senator and policy advisor for President Ronald Reagan. McClaughry, in his published commentary, said Shumlin’s health care proposal would lead to higher taxes, ballooning costs, poor health care facilities, disgruntled providers and long waits for care, among other concerns.
“Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?” Gruber asks on a video recorded by True North Reports and released last week to the online site Watchdog.org.
In other videos that came to light last week Gruber credited “the stupidity of the American voter” with getting the federal Affordable Care Act passed.
The contract allows the the state to use the Gruber Microsimulation Model that Gruber developed to simulate the implementation of Shumlin’s plan and test various financing mechanisms.
State officials announced last week that Gruber had agreed to forego any further payments for the work he was contracted to do. However, graduate assistants will continue to be paid and carry out work on behalf of the state.
Some Republicans had maintained that the original contract required official changes, and said Gruber’s “handshake agreement” with Lawrence Miller, Shumlin’s chief of health care reform, was not sufficient.
The amended contract reflects the change change in pay for Gruber.
See the contract below: