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The CBO Effectively Used Gruberís Model to Score Obamacare
Weekley Standard ^ | November 16, 2014 | JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

Posted on 11/16/2014 9:58:00 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Two well-placed sources on Capitol Hill say that the Congressional Budget Office effectively used Jonathan Gruber’s model to score Obamacare. That model favors government mandates over market competition and claims that essentially the only way to achieve a large reduction in the number of uninsured Americans is to impose an Obamacare-like individual mandate. Moreover, because the model that the CBO used in scoring Obamacare is the same one it uses today, any alternative to Obamacare that doesn’t include an individual mandate — which is to say, any conservative alternative — would be scored by the CBO as falling well short, in terms of coverage numbers, of Gruber’s preferred legislation.

While the CBO’s model isn’t exactly the same as Gruber’s, one well-placed congressional source says that the two models are “eerily similar.” That source adds that, not only was Gruber one of the CBO’s academic advisors at the time that Obamacare was scored — a claim echoed by the Huffington Post — but two of Gruber’s graduate student protégés worked on the scoring.

Gruber himself describes his model and the CBO’s as being “very similar.” In early 2011, he wrote:

“CBO and I both estimate [the] that Affordable Care Act will cover about 60 percent of those who would be uninsured absent the law. We both find that there would be a very modest reduction of employer-sponsored insurance, that premiums in the nongroup insurance market for the same quality product would fall, and that there would not be much effect on premiums in the employer-provided insurance market.”

For the record, before Obamacare passed, the CBO predicted that the president’s signature legislation would have led to 19 million more people having health insurance by 2014 (see Table 4). In reality, Obamacare has maybe hit half that number — and many if not most of Obamacare’s newly insured have simply been dumped into Medicaid.

While failing to disclose it at the time, the Obama administration paid Gruber almost $400,000 in taxpayers’ money because, in the Department of Health and Human Services’ words, he had “developed a proprietary statistically sophisticated micro-simulation model” to which the Obama administration wanted access. Noting how “similar” Gruber’s model is to the CBO’s, the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler writes that, with access to Gruber’s model, the Obama administration “could predict with reasonable certainty how CBO would score legislation.” Kessler adds, “Given that legislation in Washington often falls or rises depending on the CBO score, that made this model a very powerful tool for administration officials.”

Given the importance of Gruber’s role, why wasn’t it made more transparent? Well, as Gruber might say — and has said — “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” especially given “the stupidity of the American voter.”

Gruber had influence over the CBO, the White House, and Congress alike. Indeed, it seems that it might be hard to overestimate his importance; his role was central to the efforts of President Obama and his Democratic allies to shove Obamacare down an unwilling citizenry’s throat.

Jane Hamsher called attention to Gruber’s singular role just days before the House’s fateful vote on Obamacare. In a piece published by the Huffington Post on March 18, 2010 — three days before Paul Ryan’s rousing and timeless speech on the House floor and the vote to follow — Hamsher highlighted that “the White House, the Senate, the DNC and other Democratic leaders...distributed Gruber’s work and cited it as independent validation of their proposals, orchestrating the appearance of broad consensus when in fact it was all part of the same effort.” Moreover, “Gruber’s work was not that of an independent analyst but rather work performed as a contractor to the White House and paid for by taxpayers.”

Hamsher’s piece is worth quoting at length, for it shows that Gruber had his fingers all over Obamacare, even as the Obama administration did its best to wipe away the prints.

She writes,

“How did the feedback loop work? Well, take Gruber’s appearance before the Senate HELP Committee on November 2, 2009, for which he used his microsimulation model to make calculations about small business insurance coverage. On the same day, Gruber released an analysis of the House health care bill, which he sent to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post. Ezra published an excerpt.

“White House blogger Jesse Lee then promoted both Gruber’s Senate testimony and Ezra Klein’s article on the White House blog. ‘We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day’ he said, pointing to Gruber’s ‘objective analysis.’ The ‘transparent’ part apparently stopped when everyone got to Gruber’s contractual relationship to the White House, which nobody…bothered to disclose.

“Two days [after the Senate bill was unveiled], Gruber published a paper entitled ‘Impacts of the Senate High Cost Insurance Excise Tax on Wages: Updated,’ claiming that the excise tax would result in wage hikes of $234 billion from 2013 through 2019….

“The next day on [November] 21st, Ron Brownstein wrote in the Atlantic about Gruber’s effusive praise for the cost-cutting measures in the bill:…‘You couldn’t have done better than they are doing,’ says Gruber. [Brownstein also wrote that Gruber told him, “I'm sort of a known skeptic on this stuff.”]

“On Monday the 23rd, the DNC was sending the Brownstein column around in its entirety...one of 71 emails they would send touting Gruber's work....

“David Brooks of the New York Times was not convinced that the Senate bill would be deficit neutral, so Peter Orszag pointed him to...Brownstein's ‘insightful article on health care costs’….

“Paul Krugman cited Gruber’s glowing analysis in the Brownstein article – ‘this is the best effort anyone has made’ -- as one of the reasons he supported the Senate bill....Jeff Bingaman mentioned the Krugman piece on the floor of the Senate, and entered it into the Congressional Record….

“On November 27, following the release of the CBO score, Gruber issued another report saying the Senate bill would reduce non-group premiums (Gruber is one of the CBO’s academic advisors)….

“The next day... [Politico’s] Mike Allen [wrote a piece] with the headline ‘MIT analysis backs Obama health plan,’ leading readers to believe that Gruber’s work represented outside confirmation. The DNC didn’t flinch at that description, sending around an email on the 29th with the subject line: ‘MIT Analysis backs Obama Health Plan’….

“On the 29th Nancy-Ann DeParle, head of the very White House Office of Health Reform that Gruber was hired to consult for, posted perhaps the most misleading column of all on the White House blog….

“She identified Gruber as an ‘MIT Economist who has been closely following the health insurance reform process’ who had ‘issued a compelling new report.’…

“On November 30th…Harry Reid took to the floor of the Senate…, saying ‘just a few days ago an MIT economist -- one of the nation’s foremost economists -- a man by the name of Jonathan Gruber, analyzed our bill and concluded it will help Americans pay less and get more.’

“…Nancy Pelosi touted ‘the Gruber analysis’ on the Speaker's website.

“On December 3, Kathleen Sebelius released a statement…[and] substantiated [her] claims…by citing Gruber’s November 3 testimony before the HELP Committee….No mention that he was a contractor to HHS….

“On December 28, Gruber published an Op-Ed in the Washington Post -- in which he neglected to mention his contract to consult with the White House on this very issue. He was asked point-blank if he had any contracts related to the piece for which he was being paid, and he said ‘no.’”

In other words, an overwhelming number of the ostensibly independent statements or scores that were made or published in support of Obamacare —from Krugman, Klein, Brownstein, the DNC, Reid, Pelosi, Sebelius, and even, to a significant degree, the CBO itself — were traceable to the support of one man and his model. And that man was Jonathan Gruber, who was secretly under contract with the Obama administration.

Perhaps it’s time to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a winning conservative alternative that would lower costs, secure liberty, and make it possible for any American who wants to buy health insurance to be able to do so. And perhaps it’s time to make sure that Jonathan Gruber’s influence over the CBO’s scoring of Obamacare, and of Obamacare alternatives, doesn’t extend into the next Congress.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Health/Medicine; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: 0carenightmare; aca; cbo; cborico; gruber; grubergate; gruberrico; liargruber; lie2america; lie2cbo; lie2congress; obamacare; obamacarerico; obamarico
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1 posted on 11/16/2014 9:58:00 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Excellent - worth saving.


2 posted on 11/16/2014 10:05:06 AM PST by Thank You Rush
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“In other words, an overwhelming number of the ostensibly independent statements or scores that were made or published in support of Obamacare —from Krugman, Klein, Brownstein, the DNC, Reid, Pelosi, Sebelius, and even, to a significant degree, the CBO itself — were traceable to the support of one man and his model. And that man was Jonathan Gruber, who was secretly under contract with the Obama administration.”

This is a massive, criminal conspiracy to defraud and many, many people need to go to jail.


3 posted on 11/16/2014 10:05:24 AM PST by whinecountry (Semper Ubi Sub Ubi)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
In other words, corrupt from start to finish. It's another lie from start to finish. It was never about health care, it was about ontrol. "Someone–Gruber for sure, maybe others in the Obama administration–deserves to go to jail for this. The Obama administration is corrupt to the core. It can’t come to an end too soon." John Hinderacker, Powerline.
4 posted on 11/16/2014 10:05:54 AM PST by Fungi
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The thlot pickens.


5 posted on 11/16/2014 10:06:18 AM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
For the record, before Obamacare passed, the CBO predicted that the president’s signature legislation would have led to 19 million more people having health insurance by 2014 (see Table 4). In reality, Obamacare has maybe hit half that number — and many if not most of Obamacare’s newly insured have simply been dumped into Medicaid.

"For the record" doesn't include, those who had insurance before Obamacare, lost it because of Obamacare and got it back through Obamacare.

that should be a wash, but I'm guessing those numbers are included in the Feds enrollment figure. (numbers are all over they place everywhere) So enrollment figures are overstated by approx. 2.6 million...a figure factcheck even accepts as gospel.
6 posted on 11/16/2014 10:14:59 AM PST by stylin19a (Obama ----> Fredo smart)
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To: whinecountry

How many people have died due to the implementation of these policies?


7 posted on 11/16/2014 10:15:00 AM PST by ptsal (Repubicans swallowing more kool-aide from Rove & Kristol)
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To: All

This has been an interesting exercise in state propaganda. I remember the discussions, debates, and arguments with the lefties over what we instinctively saw as the profound financial implications of Øbongocare. The math simply didn’t work. And one couldn’t torture it sufficiently to make it work. The only thing that was left were blatant lies, all neatly wrapped into these ‘insightful articles on health care costs’ that they repeatedly pointed us to.

The takeaway from all of this that needs to be preached everywhere is that dhimmicarts are deceitful liars.


8 posted on 11/16/2014 10:18:08 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

It’s gotten to the point where we need to call the travesty Grubamacare. The scam artist was everywhere and his fingerprints are all over the bill.

Rats, eager to grasp any life line to convince the last few of their holdouts (Nelson, Landrieu, Stupak, e.g.) carried out the scam. They are complicit and need to be fully held to account and fully ousted.


9 posted on 11/16/2014 10:19:59 AM PST by randita (Obama entrusted the transformation of the best healthcare system in the world to a scam artist.)
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To: Thank You Rush

So the bastard developed a plan and developed how to rate his own plan and he has them use this criteria to rate any and all competition. UNREAL. You do not need to be an MIT PHD to design a plan and know it’s key components do this or that and you use your plan’s ten best points to give a 10 score and you use let’s say Mutual of Omaha’s top rated group policy for health as a 1 on it’s best ten points and then you use the Industry medium as a 5 for the same key points and nothing can touch your piece of crap that you pawned off on the public. He Gruberized the CBO, too.


10 posted on 11/16/2014 10:20:13 AM PST by Lumper20 ( clown in Chief has own Gov employees Gestapo)
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To: Thank You Rush

Republicans now control the CBO. They need to clean house and hold the partisan hacks who have occupied that office and provided phony “research” to support ever expanding government accountable for their actions.

Part of the reason that national debates are always on the terms of the left is that all of our “non-partisan” institutions, such as the CBO, are packed full of careerist lefties who will also side that the “fair” way to score a bill is the way that the Democrats desire it.

Right now, Republicans have the authority to systematically fire everyone who was involved in generating the false numbers that were used to foist ObamaCare on us. The would be howls of partisanship from the Democrats and their media allies of course, but these are the same people who laughed and said “We won” 6 years ago. Republicans need to aggressively use the power they have at this moment to begin to clean up the institutions of our government.


11 posted on 11/16/2014 10:22:46 AM PST by CaptainMorgantown
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To: Lumper20

Seems this Gruber has his hand in all pieces of the healthcare pie.

http://kff.org/health-reform/state-profile/state-exchange-profiles-massachusetts/

“......Structure: The Massachusetts Health Connector was established as a quasi-governmental organization, specifically a “public entity not subject to the supervision and control of any other executive office.”

Governance: The Health Connector is governed by an 11-member Board, including four ex officio members (or designees): Secretary for Administration and Finance, Director of Medicaid, Commissioner of Insurance, and Executive Director of the Group Insurance Commission. The Governor appoints an actuary, a health economist, a representative of small business, and an underwriter. The Attorney General appoints an employee health benefits specialist, a representative of health consumers, and a representative of organized labor. Appointees cannot be employed by an insurance carrier licensed in Massachusetts.

Current appointed Board members are:

George Gosner Jr, Spring Insurance Group

Jonathon Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Andrés López, AJL Consultants

Louis Malzone, Massachusetts Coalition of Taft-Hardly Funds

Nancy Turnbull, Harvard School of Public Health

Celia Wcislo, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
Ian Duncan, Solucia Inc.

Contracting with Plans: The Health Connector acts as an active purchaser and requires health insurance carriers offering plans through the Connector to receive the “Seal of Approval” by meeting requirements such as participation in all Commonwealth Choice offerings (meaning individual and small group) and offering all standardized benefit packages for all plan benefit levels (gold, silver, bronze, and young adult plans). Carriers may also offer non-standardized products to consumers, and the Health Connector is considering displaying these plans within the corresponding metal tiers (as suggested by an actuarial review).5 For 2013 plan year, the Connector received proposals from all eight existing Commonwealth Choice carriers and one new entrant, and granted the Seal of Approval to all standardized and non-standardized plans.......”


12 posted on 11/16/2014 10:23:51 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: ptsal

Exactly. Which is why my blood boils when RINO politicians blithely talk about “tweaking” the “bad aspects” of Obamacare. The entire thing is an abomination born of criminal intent to defraud, which has already hurt countless millions, some of whom have no doubt died from stress, lack of care, etc.


13 posted on 11/16/2014 10:28:29 AM PST by whinecountry (Semper Ubi Sub Ubi)
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To: CaptainMorgantown
Republicans need to aggressively use the power they have at this moment to begin to clean up the institutions of our government. Will they? Fat chance.
14 posted on 11/16/2014 10:28:53 AM PST by Fungi
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To: Fungi
March 22, 2010: House passes health-care reform bill without Republican votes "House Democrats scored a historic victory in the century-long battle to reform the nation's health-care system late Sunday night, winning final approval of legislation that expands coverage to 32 million people and attempts to contain spiraling costs.

The House voted 219 to 212 to approve the measure, with every Republican voting no. The measure now awaits President Obama's signature. In remarks Sunday night, he said that the vote "proved that we are still capable of doing big things. We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues erupted in cheers and hugs as the votes were counted, while Republicans who had fought the Democratic efforts on health-care reform for more than a year appeared despondent.........."

15 posted on 11/16/2014 10:34:14 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The whole thing was a scam. Everybody knew it was a scam. The Democrats just winked and nodded and pretended everything was on the up and up. The MSM knew it too, and ran cover for the Democrats.


16 posted on 11/16/2014 10:36:18 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Garbage in garbage out.


17 posted on 11/16/2014 10:36:48 AM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
circle jerk...
18 posted on 11/16/2014 10:43:46 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -w- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

It would seem so.


19 posted on 11/16/2014 10:57:51 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Wait: Are you all stupid? CNN has finally reported on the matter and effectively explains Gruber's actions in this condescending piece titled Obamacare: Voters, are you Stupid?

Gruber, Puppet and RATs are 'clever'; we're all stupid. Get it?

As well, CNN makes patently clear that we are not 'impartial' in regards to the 'jury' on O'care.

</sarc> (top to bottom)

On the latter, talk about the pot calling the kettle black...hmmmmm???

I've not heard of the '2017 Project'; I'll have to find time to research...

20 posted on 11/16/2014 10:59:00 AM PST by logi_cal869 (-cynicus-)
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