Given the prominence with which I quoted Jonathan Gruber of MIT in several recent pieces, I've been asked today whether his work for the administration came up at any point in our interviews on health care. I looked through my notes this morning of the two conversations I had with him last fall on health care, and in the notes there is no indication that his work for the administration came up-it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask and he didn't raise it. That is also my personal recollection. Frankly I cannot imagine any way in which I would have known about his ties and not disclosed them in anything I wrote about him. I checked with Gruber today and that was his recollection as well: that I did not ask about it (anymore than I would have routinely asked any other academic analyst), and he did not raise it.
With disclosure, I don't think I would have completely put him outside the pale of people to talk to-he's really about as sharp as they come on this stuff and I still believe that readers would (and did) benefit from his perspective. But I am confident that knowing about his relationship would have led me to emphasize other analysts to a greater extent, and again, to definitely disclose the connection any time I did quote him.
But some experts, including centrists such as prominent health economist Jonathan Gruber, would take the gamble of McCain's tax credit plan. They consider it fairer than the exclusion, which reduces taxes most for affluent workers and penalizes people who buy insurance as individuals rather than through their employers. The catch is that many credit supporters (Gruber included) say it can work only if it is joined with reforms that ensure more risk-sharing and equity in the individual marketplace.