North Carolina fires former White House advisor over Obamacare comments

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood has terminated a contract with a former White House advisor after video of comments he made on the Affordable Care Act went public.

MIT economist Jonathan Gruber was an adviser during the drafting of the law. Video clips recently surfaced from a health-care policy conference in Pennsylvania that show him saying that "the stupidity of the American voter" helped Democrats pass the health care makeover.

The comments fired up conservatives who are calling for a repeal of the law.

Gruber has since disavowed the most controversial remarks, saying he "spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments."

Auditor Beth Wood's office hired Gruber in November 2013 - along with other experts - after the General Assembly asked for a study of the Community Care of North Carolina program, which provides managed care to the poor and disabled.

Lawmakers and Governor Pat McCrory are looking at possibly including the program in a reform of the state's Medicaid system.

Wood's office said that Gruber's "media comments suggest the appearance of an independence impairment."

Gruber will still be paid about $100,000 for the work he has already done.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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