Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economics professor and key Obamacare adviser, has agreed to testify before the House oversight committee next month after critics unearthed a string of YouTube videos that depict him saying the “stupidity” of the American voter and legislative sleight of hand helped the contentious law make it through Congress.
Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the oversight panel, had asked Mr. Gruber in writing to appear before his committee and explain himself.
A spokeswoman for the committee confirmed early Tuesday that he agreed to appear on Dec. 9.
Republican lawmakers are leveraging Mr. Gruber’s remarks as they take full control of Congress and redouble efforts to chip away at the health overhaul.
The videos depict Mr. Gruber, whose economic models helped the White House forge Obamacare’s provisions, in speeches and public forums from the past few years. In one clip, he suggests the ignorance of American voters allowed Democrats to frame the law in a way that was more palatable to the public and budget scorekeepers.
The videos played into Republican assertions that the formation of the law, passed without any GOP support, was steeped in deception and twisted in a way to make it look like an economic winner.
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also agreed to testify on revelations the administration included 400,000 dental plans in prior estimates of Obamacare enrollment.
The agency has said it was a mistake, but Mr. Issa and others suspect the administration lumped in the plans to put them over the 7-million enrollment mark and exceed congressional budget estimates.