Issa Refutes Gruber’s Testimony That Insurance Costs Have Decreased


Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had his chance to question the architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, who embarrassed the Obama administration with his inflammatory comments about “the stupidity of the American voter.”

ISSA: The night before last I was at the Kennedy Center Honors where they honored Tom Hanks, famously Forrest Gump, the ultimate in successful stupid man. Are you stupid?

GRUBER: I don’t think so, no.

ISSA: Does M.I.T. employ stupid people?

GRUBER: Not to my knowledge.

ISSA: OK, so you’re a smart man who said some, as the ranking member said, some really stupid things. And you said the same, is that correct?

GRUBER: I…the comments I made were really inexcusable.

Rep. Issa asked the former healthcare law advisor about the cost-shifting aspects of the Affordable Care Act in which one person would get a reduction in their insurance rate while someone else would have to pay more to off-set that person’s decrease.

Gruber explained that the ACA set up insurance exchanges that pooled risks for the healthy and less-healthy which, on average, resulted in lower health insurance costs. Issa immediately corrected the M.I.T. economics professor, saying that total costs did not decrease, but actually increased.

ISSA: I’m a taxpayer, Mr. Gruber. Trust me, people are not paying less; people like me are paying more for those, because taxes are, in fact, a cost that’s paid. Total costs did not go down. Cost shifting occurred in your model, isn’t that true?

GRUBER: The amount that individuals have to pay for health insurance, on average, fell in my model.

ISSA: Well, but it didn’t fall in reality.

Issa questioned why the American public should believe the accuracy of his model if deception, by Gruber’s own statements, was part of the process. He suggested that the Committee and the next Congress conduct an independent audit of Gruber’s insurance model.


h/t PJ Media

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

If You Thought Lois Lerner Was Bad, What This Obama Admin Official Did Will Make You Blow Your Top

Darrell Issa

According to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, the missing emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner represent just a portion of a much larger problem within the Obama administration.

While the supposed hard drive crash that destroyed Lerner’s records hindered the House investigation into alleged targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, Issa explained that other inquiries are being hamstrung by another similar loss of data. Furthermore, he lamented the fact that his committee was not notified of the deleted emails until well after he had issued a subpoena for them.

The loss came as a result of one administration official, Marilynn Tavenner of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who reportedly failed to back up her email correspondences in accordance with the law, Issa explained. The correspondences were requested as part of an ongoing ObamaCare investigation in the House.

“The Obama administration has lost or destroyed emails for more than 20 witnesses,” he said, “and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law.”

In its eventual disclosure, the agency wrote to the National Archives and Records Administration with an apparent excuse for her failure to maintain copies of relevant emails.

“During her entire tenure at CMS,” the notification stated, “Ms. Tavenner’s CMS email address, which is accessible to both colleagues and the public, has been subject to write-in campaigns involving thousands of emails from the public.”

In an effort to “keep an orderly email box,” the agency continued, “the administrator generally copied or forwarded emails to immediate staff for retention and retrieval, and did not maintain her own copies.”

Issa is apparently not satisfied, particularly regarding the fact that the announcement came nearly a year after he subpoenaed the records.

“It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their emails,” he stated.

He concluded that a request for the data just last week did not elicit confirmation that the emails were lost.

“Even at that point, the administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s emails history,” he said. “Yet again, we discover that this administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Déjà Vu: Missing Emails At The Center Of Issa’s Latest Inquiry

Even as two House committees look into allegations that a hard drive crash resulted in the disappearance of countless vital emails, the Environmental Protection Agency refuses to respond to a subpoena issued last year demanding the release of emails and other documents. The investigation sought to determine whether the White House attempted to influence the agency in its compliance with previous congressional requests.

A number of scandals within the agency – including an official who took home unearned money while portraying himself as a CIA agent, and another who received a deal on a new luxury car from a lobbyist – are within the scope of the investigation.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, where she faced fierce accusations from Chairman Darrell Issa. When McCarthy asserted that she is not prepared to release the information he requested, he turned the tables on her.

He said, “Could you imagine if I just went ahead and set up a coal energy plant without a permit, started burning raw coal to produce electricity, and then told you for month after month after month that I look forward to working with you?”

He then confirmed his intention to hold the EPA in contempt of Congress.

Although McCarthy suggested that her offer of a private email viewing that ostensibly shows there was no collusion between the EPA and White House to withhold information from Congress should be sufficient, Issa balked at the idea. He called the offer “insufficient,” confirming that, with the GOP in control, the days of apathetic congressional investigations are over.

“This is my watch,” he said. “This is my time. Elections have consequences. You have not complied with the subpoena. I am telling you, the time to comply is now.”

After seven months of obstruction, Issa concluded that McCarthy’s claims are suspect.

“It is contemptible for months to pass and have you say that you’re negotiating,” he said.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Darrel Issa: Lois Lerner Acted Against Conservatives For Obama

Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter with 50 questions to the head of the IRS over the weekend.

“We have some serious questions for the commissioner.  The biggest one being: You came before us; you said you’d tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth under oath.  Do you believe you told the whole truth? The answer is he did not tell the whole truth,” said Issa.  “The most critical [question] really has to do with, in fact, who made the decision to destroy the document.”

“I believe Lois Lerner is hiding something.  I believe the Justice Department, the IRS, and the White House are interested in her succeeding in hiding what she’s hiding, which is targeting of conservative groups based on their ideology in support of the president’s war on Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that he didn’t like,” Issa said on Fox News Monday morning.

“This is something he vehemently opposes, and Lois Lerner acted on his opposition,” Issa reiterated.

“Could it lead to political operatives of the president? Yes,” Issa said, noting that the investigation was being “stymied” by these “missing” emails that should have been recovered.

John Koskinen must answer to Issa in a Oversight hearing tonight at 7 p.m. regarding the Lerner computer crash and the missing emails from the IRS.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

New Reports Show Lois Lerner’s Emails Weren’t Just Erased…

Since the IRS asserted a hard drive crash led to the disappearance of countless emails relevant to the ongoing investigation into misbehavior by the agency, many critics contend there must be some way to retrieve that information. According to a number of recent reports, however, the IRS apparently went a step further in making sure that data remains hidden in perpetuity.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said legislators have “been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away.”

This revelation came on the heels of an attempt by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa to secure a hard drive expert’s hand in retrieving the emails.

In light of this new information, it seems unlikely that there will be any opportunity to even access the hard drive. This news is likely to stoke even more suspicion that the agency purposely tried to keep damaging communications between former official Lois Lerner and other administration sources from congressional investigators.

As for the agency, however, a spokesperson confirmed to Politico that “standard IRS protocol was followed in 2011 for disposing of the broken hard drive.”

Either way, Issa and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp must rely on the word of administration officials in determining which agencies were involved in the effort to unfairly scrutinize conservative groups ahead of the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. A White House statement this week, for example, claimed there was no communication with Lerner during the crucial two-year period affected by the data loss.

Issa responded to the latest news with a blistering statement rebuking the IRS for destroying evidence vital to his investigation.

If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about “losing” e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception. Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don’t just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom