Category Archives: Healthcare

The Congressional Budget Oafs SOP

Debt, Economy, Healthcare

“Obamacare’s A Marketplace In The Same Way The Knockout Game Is A Game” offered this assessment of the modus operandi of the CBOafs (The Congressional Budget Oafs):

[Like] the pundits who bestow them with the “non-partisan” adjectival, the CBOafs (The Congressional Budget Oafs), protect the status-quo. This federal agency is as “independent” as the country’s columnists, who might as well register as lobbyists for the RNC or DNC respectively.
Typically, the CBO will first confirm government predictions of the great savings that will accrue due to this or the other wastrel, welfare program. Later, when it’s safer, they adjust their statistical sleight of hand.
Yes, getting reliable data out of the CBO is like frisking a wet seal.

Zero Care will impose $1 trillion in tax increases and $2 trillion in subsidies. Yet, the CBOafs initially scored the program positively. Only a day ago, not untypically, the CBOafs were touting the increasing (alleged) affordability of the Affordable Care Act (not for me). Right away, the CBOafs then pivot to warn of the “Heightening Risk of Fiscal Crisis.” Via Breitbart.com:

CBO Director Douglas Elmdorf testified that debt will exceed 100% of GDP within 25 years and continue to rise, a “trend that could not be sustained” and would eventually heighten “the risk of a fiscal crisis” before the House Budget Committee on Tuesday.

“Although the deficits in our baseline projections remain roughly stable as a percentage of GDP through 2018, as I noted, they rise after that. The deficit in 2025 is projected to be $1.1 trillion, or 4% of GDP, and cumulative deficits over the 2016 to 2025 period are projected to total $7.6 trillion. We expect that federal debt held by the public will amount to 74% of GDP at the end of this fiscal year, more than twice what it was at the end of 2007, and higher than in any year since 1950. By 2025, in our baseline projections, federal debt rises to nearly 79% of GDP. When CBO last issued long-term budget projections in the summer, we projected that, under current law, debt would exceed 100 percent of GDP 25 years from now, and would continue on an upward trajectory thereafter. That trend that could not be sustained. Such large and growing federal debt would have serious negative consequences, including increasing federal spending for interest payments, restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually heightening the risk of a fiscal crisis” he stated.

According to a copy of his prepared remarks released by the CBO, the revised economic projections “do not materially change” predictions that debt will exceed 100% of GDP in 25 years and “CBO’s current projection of debt as a percentage of GDP in 2024 is quite close to that used as the starting point for the projections in The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook [where the CBO also predicted that debt will be 100% of GDP in 25 years.]”


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Minion Takes The Fall For Materminds Of ObamaCare

Healthcare, Regulation, Republicans

Everything Congress does is a charade. Grubby hired hand Jonathan Gruber—an academic unburdened by a scholarly mind, who was commissioned to push ObamaCare with econometrics and Arguments from Authority—is being crisscrossed by a Congress that intends to do nothing to nullify this law.

It’s hard to tell who’s the bigger cad in the formulaic farce, J-Grub or the Congress conglomerate, as represented by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, told Gruber:

“You made a series of troubling statements that were not only an insult to the American people, but revealed a pattern of intentional misleading [of] the public about the true impact and nature of ObamaCare.”
Gruber has come under fire for claiming ObamaCare’s authors took advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter.”

The nub of the matter: J-Grub was fired from his fraud-pushing, lucrative, tax-funded consulting gigs. The Master Planners have not been dismissed, neither will they.

What we’re observing is a minion—Dr. Grubber—falling on his sword, thus serving to distract a nation with a short-attention span and zero retention from the real culprits: Barack Obama, his sleigh-of-hand Senate and Republicans who’ve failed to stop funding for the Affordable Care healthcare juggernaut.

Issa’s mild reprimand of J-Grub is the extent of the action against this oppressive law: “So you’re a smart man who said some … really stupid things.”


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Gruber Or Curveball?

BAB's A List, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Iraq, Republicans

By Myron Pauli

Ann Coulter, columnist and perpetual Republican apologist, recently wrote an article [1] contrasting “health care expert” Jonathan Gruber with the row over memos leading the US to War with Iraq. Much as I loathe appearing to be defending Obama against Republicans, Ann is very much wrong in exonerating Republican fabrications vs. Democratic ones.

Let me start with Gruber. However arrogant he is and however much his comic book [2] dumbs down health care complexities to sell this to the American voting booboisie—he embodies precisely what politics is about. Koch, Soros, Rockefeller, Adelson, and Bloomberg spend millions on largely retarded 30 second spots like “Smith is a corrupt pedophile who hates whites, blacks, men, women, gays, old folks, Hispanics, Asians and dogs … ” because they work. Politics is the art of dumbing down and dumb usually wins when repeated often enough.

I also have no intrinsic objection to a Ph.D. “expert” economist making money consulting on health care. In fact, if health insurance were deregulated, there would arguably be a market for consultants to help consumers decide between Missouri Aetna, Pennsylvania Kaiser, Idaho Blue Cross, etc. – with various deductible, co-pay, premiums, maximums, waiting periods, PPO’s, HMO’s, HSA’s, ad nauseum to choose from. If Congress cannot read a 2900 page bill, do you expect the average small business owner or truck driver to sort through all the fine print of competing insurance? In fact, there is a market for insurance agents, travel agents, stockbrokers, hedge fund operators, and career consultants who make money off their expertise on complex matters. My objection is only to Gruber seeking his living by using coercion of the taxpayers, rather than in the private sector. Because health care decisions are both complex and personal, they should be the responsibility of free citizens [3].

But if Gruber was peddling semi-socialized Romneycare and Obamacare to the quasi-ignorant masses, what does one say about an Iraqi Shiite conman named Curveball [4] – a failed engineering student, embezzler, and taxi driver who was put up by friends of neocon hero Chalabi to fabricate ludicrous tales of WMD threats to the $70 billion a year American “intelligence community.” This “intelligence community” passed on these fabrications to be amplified repeatedly with leaks confirming rumors confirming “intelligence” on “Iraqi WMD.”

The price of Curveball has so far been $2 trillion of a wasteful war, destabilization of the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and millions of people driven into exile. The Republicans and Democrats could (but most likely will not) permit free markets in health care (but will probably not do it) and thus Obamacare could be a temporary change in raising or lowering premiums, co-pays, deductibles and paperwork. The damage of a Gruber could be a temporary blip. On the other hand, how do you put the Middle East back together after a decade of destruction and destabilization?

The commonality between the Grubers and the Curveballs is that both involve national coercion – the former to get everyone behind coercive health care mandates and the latter used to commit the nation to an endless series of wars. Welfare State and Warfare State are both part of an ever expanding government and ever expanding debt.

As for Republicans vs. Democrats, you have two rival gangs vying for the levers of power without ever reducing either the welfare state or the warfare state. At best, they can both express hypocritical shock that the other side would “lie to the American people.” And the American people go along with the “good cop/bad cop” deception as if in the interrogation room of a Law and Order episode. To reduce critical thinking to arguments of the relative merits of Gruber’s vs. Curveball’s deception is merely to go along with the larger partisan deception.

Gruber and Curveball are just able to make a buck along the way from willing government customers. In physics, a thermodynamic quantity called entropy (related to disorder) always increases. Similarly, as Jefferson noted, “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

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[1] http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2014/11/19/isnt-jonathan-gruber-worse-than-the-downing-street-memo-n1921260
[2] http://video.mit.edu/watch/mit-economist-gruber-clarifies-health-care-law-in-a-comic-book-11139/
[3] http://barelyablog.com/only-a-sicko-trusts-the-state-with-his-health/
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curveball_%28informant%29

******************

Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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UPDATED: J-Grub Keeps Going (Republicans Reject 0-Care … For Themselves)

Healthcare, Racism, Republicans

Jonathan Gruber implies that critics of ObamaCare are misinformed and racist:

UPDATE: 0-Care: It’s good for thee, but not for me. Via National Review:

House Republicans last week voted down an amendment that would have required all of their staff members to purchase insurance from the federal health exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act.
The voice vote took place behind closed doors and has received little public attention. The dispute is one more rift between right-leaning members of the caucus and some members of leadership, albeit not a hugely consequential one.
In the Senate, a similar vote was kicked to next month or, potentially, next year …


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UPDATED: Grubby Gruber To Enter ‘Smithsonian Museum of Dumbassery’ (CNN Reports?)

Economy, Ethics, Government, Healthcare, Intelligence, Internet

Jonathan Gruber’s “off-the-cuff” trail of stupidity belongs, as Big Bang’s delicious Leslie Winkle would say, in “the Smithsonian Museum of Dumbassery.” Here the Gruber collection is, as uncovered and tracked, not by major media, but by citizen journalist Rich Weinstein:

* Nancy Pelosi is a Liar Too. Tell me something I don’t already know.

* “Gruber suggesting that states that did not create health insurance exchanges risked giving up the ACA’s subsidies.”

* “Clip from Gruber’s year-old appearance at a University of Pennsylvania health care conference.”

* “Gruber … ‘I have no comment.’”

* Gruby “at a January 2012 symposium.”

* “Scholar”? Gruby on “Ronan Farrow Daily”: ““I was speaking off the cuff and I spoke inappropriately, and I regret making those comments.” Aha.

* Gruber second “stupid” tape, uncovered by Megyn Kelly’s team:

In this next clip from also last year, Mr. Gruber explains how Democrats played with the language of the Obamacare law so that it achieved their goals, by again, fooling the stupid public.”
She then played a short 5-second clip of Gruber, saying the following, that a part of the Obamacare passed because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”
Gruber was talking about the so-called “Cadillac tax” in Obamacare, which increased the tax on high-end insurance packages. The fact that Obamacare would raise taxes was seen as politically toxic. But then-Senator John Kerry came up with the idea of taxing the companies providing the Cadillac plans, rather than taxing Americans directly.

(Via Daily Caller.)

Stupid III clip: “It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter”

… In an effort to add a cost-control measure to Obamacare, former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who Gruber called a “hero,” successfully pushed through a 40 percent excise tax on insurance companies for plans that cost more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,000 for families.

“A WONDERFUL shopping experience, economists will tell you.” (Read: I am telling you, fools!)

Gruber is a technocrat, not a scholar; a corrupt central planner extraordinaire, high on his own vapor. He has no right to talk economics. Leave it to the Austrians, freak.

UPDATE (11/14): CNN’s Jake Tapper may have let slip a word or two about Grubby, earlier this week. Today, November 14th, 2014, finally fuller coverage on CNN. What a disgrace.


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Obamacare: No-Fault Fraud

Healthcare, Law, Republicans, Taxation

Not a peep has the new class of Republican congressmen and senators uttered about the open admission of fraud made by Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of Obamacare.

Proudly and bombastically Grubber touted the charade in which he partook in swindling “stupid” Americans:

… this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. Okay, so it was written to do that. …. if you had a law that made explicit that healthy people would pay in and sick people would get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever but basically that was really really critical to get this thing to pass… I wish we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this [Obamacare] law than not.

The legal elements of fraud are present:

(1) a false statement of a material fact,(2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue, (3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim, (4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement, and (5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.

You’d think Republicans would pivot into repeal mode right away. Since when is a supposedly sovereign people compelled to suffer under a law they reject?


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