Democrats have a thrill running up their legs because health care economist Jonathan Gruber of MIT has proclaimed that private insurance policies “in the non-group market” will cost $200-$500 less if Harry Reid’s plan becomes law.

The analysis is rudimentary. Gruber merely takes the CBO scoring analysis, then backs out the analysis as to “actuarial values” to assert that the CBO “implies” that private non-group policies will cost less. While I’m sure Gruber is brilliant, his analysis adds nothing of substance to the debate.

The reason Gruber’s analysis should not be taken seriously is because there is one big caveat highlighted on the first page of Gruber’s report:

The CBO has not reported many of the details of their analysis, such as the age distribution of individuals in the non-group market or in the exchange. So these data do not provide a strictly apples to apples comparison of premiums for the same individual in the exchange and in the no-reform non-group market. And their conclusion may change as legislation moves forward. But the key point is that, as of now, the most authoritative objective voice in this debate suggests that reform will significantly reduce, not increase, non-group premiums.

Gruber has based his projections and theory on underlying assumptions and analysis to which he not only does not have access, but which themselves are full of caveats. And all of these caveats will be ignored as Democrats trumpet Gruber’s report.

On this we are supposed to restructure one-sixth of our economy?

And if private policies in the non-group market were, in fact, to cost a few hundred dollars less, would it be worth the price in terms of government intervention in our lives, de facto rationing, bureaucracies, taxes, mandates, increases in Medicaid dependents, and inevitable deficits?

Are our liberties worth only $200-$500? That’s the best Harry Reid can do?

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