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Penn was in the news this week after a controversial video at a University conference re-emerged featuring MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, who helped draft the Affordable Care Act, saying the law only passed because of the “stupidity of the American voter.”

The video, which was posted on Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics website, showed Gruber addressing an audience at a health economics conference in October 2013. The video gained views on Monday after a conservative group, American Commitment, posted an excerpt on YouTube. The clip was originally uncovered by Philadelphia investment advisor Rich Weinstein, who has been researching Gruber’s statements in an attempt to discredit the health care law.

The University briefly removed the video earlier this week, sparking speculation that Penn attempted to cover up the controversy.

However, a University spokesman said this is not the case.

“The video was offline [Monday] for about an hour after a question had come in regarding rights to it,” Vice President for University Communications Stephen McCarthy said. “There are all sorts of conspiracy theories floating around on blogs that continue to say that it is still offline. It is not. It was offline for about an hour midday on Monday and has been back online since Monday afternoon.”

Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute Daniel Polsky did not respond to requests for comment.

Gruber’s remarks came in response to a discussion about political transparency during Penn’s 24th Annual Health Economics Conference.

“This bill was written in a tortured way,” Gruber said. “If you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit — healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed....Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

“Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass,” he added.

Gruber was the architect of the Massachusetts health care reform that served as the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act, and he worked on drafting the federal version that passed in 2010.

Fox News and other conservative media outlets have zeroed in on Gruber’s comments.

“In the annals of elitist contempt for ordinary Americans, the remarks of an Obamacare architect [Gruber] stand out,” Michael Goodwin, a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist, wrote in an opinion column on Wednesday.

But not everyone was so quick to attack Gruber.

A headline for a Washington Post article by health policy reporter Jason Millman called Gruber “the man who’s willing to say what everyone else is thinking.”

Gruber has apologized for his comments, saying he misspoke.

“The comments in the video were made at an academic conference....I was speaking off the cuff and I basically spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments,” Gruber said in an MSNBC interview on Tuesday.

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