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Obamacare: cost-savings, safety, and Gruber

Obamacare: cost-savings, safety, and Gruber

Keep those lies coming

The administration is still trying to convince us that Obamacare is a good thing:

On Dec. 3, federal actuaries released data showing that health spending inched up only 3.6 percent in 2013.

Marilyn Tavenner, the head of Medicare and Medicaid, boasted that it’s “evidence that our efforts to reform the health-care-delivery system are working.” Sorry, not true.

That 3.6 percent figure is an improvement only by a hair.

The real slowing of health care spending started way back in 2009…long before ObamaCare even passed. Health spending slowed to a comfortable 3.8 percent rise that year, and stayed at that slow pace in 2010.

Not that the president acknowledged that health spending was growing at the slowest rate in a half-century.

To pass his health bill, he needed a crisis. So he and then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius repeatedly lied, warning that costs were “skyrocketing,” spending was “spiraling” out of control…

On Dec. 2, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced “demonstrable progress” in making hospital care safer.

Her report claims that some 50,000 fewer patients died from bed sores, infections, medication errors, falls and other mishaps from 2010 to 2013, largely due to new payment incentives and a patient safety program in ObamaCare.

That happy claim was repeated verbatim by many media outlets.

Not so fast, say patient safety experts who actually read the report…

There’s another much more subtle lie inherent in the administration’s claims, which is the assumption that if an effect follows an event, the effect is caused by that event. That sort of “lie” is hardly limited to the Obama administration or Obamacare, of course. It’s a common problem with a great deal of social science and medical research that relies on correlations, and where rigorous controls are impossible with the human subjects involved.

In other related news, Jonathan Gruber is testifying before Congress today. He is in the unenviable position of having to say he lied about lying but is now telling the truth about his lies about lying.

In Gruber’s closing paragraph he tries to say “It’s me, not Obamacare!” He is willing to fall on his sword for the greater good:

I behaved badly, and I will have to live with that, but my own inexcusable arrogance is not a flaw in the Affordable Care Act.

No, it’s not. But the ACA has its own flaws galore, much greater than Gruber’s. Its proponents had their own inexcusable arrogance, lies, and parliamentary shenanigans, and Obamacare has its own terrible consequences.

Any attacks on Gruber from the left would be following the same playbook Gruber himself is following: It’s Gruber, not Obamacare! Don’t blame Obamacare, which is good; Gruber’s the villain!

By the way, for what it’s worth, when I first heard about Gruber—which was in connection with his highly-praised prediction a year ago that only 3% of Americans will be impacted negatively by Obamacare—I wrote an article for PJ that pointed out Gruber’s partisanship and non-objectivity, plus the fact that he had already had to admit there were quite a few flaws in the reasoning behind the models for which he was so well-known as an expert on health care insurance. In it, I quoted an Avik Roy article that features a statement Gruber himself had made on the subject:

Most importantly, Gruber has admitted that his model has a catastrophic flaw: it can’t model the impact of Obamacare’s requirement that insurers take all comers regardless of pre-existing conditions. Here’s what he said to the State of Colorado:

“It is important to recognize some limitations in our modeling of prices. In particular, given publicly available data we cannot incorporate the effects of the ban on pre-existing conditions exclusions. This ban will cause a rise in premiums as insurers are forced to cover conditions that they had previously excluded. In addition, there are new premium taxes on insurers that will raise premium rates…Overall, we cannot predict the net impacts of these factors on premiums without more analysis.”

It’s precisely this aspect of the law that non-partisan analysts have pointed to as a reason why Obamacare will drive up premiums.

Why did anyone ever listen to Gruber after that? Because he was telling them what they wanted to hear. To use a model that omits the fact that Obamacare required the coverage of people with pre-existing conditions, and to act as though this will have no effect on premiums, is not just incompetent but shockingly so, as anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of insurance and math could easily have seen.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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It’s interesting the Gruber lied but in a way, who cares? I am still waiting for someone in the media to really think about the middle class and realize that ObamaCare does nothing to save them from the high cost of medical care. If a family does not qualify for a MA, the high cost of deductibles and the remaining 20% will still throw them into bankruptcy for a major illness. Healthcare needs to be revamped or it will break us all. There is never going to be “free care.” Have a program that encourages health care savings plans for routine illness and then provide catastrophic health insurance with manageable deductibles. Although I work in a company that provides health insurance, employees are still being squashed by the high cost of health care (which keeps going up for them each year as insurance costs more and less and less is covered).

    n.n in reply to Mati. | December 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Neither affordable nor available but corruption is progressive. And that’s after aborting around 2 million Americans annually, while replacing them with 2 million legal and illegal aliens. It’s impossible to believe that their motives are honorable.

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to n.n. | December 10, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Another example. Malpractice claims are a huge driver of costs, yet because trial lawyers are a Democrat client base their so called health care reform did nothing on tort reform.

The Gruberites never convinced we the “stupid” people with Gruber’s proposed (and instituted) deceptions. Obamacare has always lost in polls, usually in a landslide. They jammed it through anyway. But collectivists justify big lies, because the Gruberites know we the people stupid must be “shepherded” by hook and crook. Bah bah humbug.

Architect Gruber’s O’care never fixed real problems with health care. O’care just jams through a massive tax on the responsibly insured 85%, via their plans, and squeezes the whole industry into a more socialist/communist mold. Obama promised the opposite, but “you lie”.

Obamafraud adds only 1-2% to the roles of insured, and that is short term, with the real punishment STILL deferred to shield the guilty in elections. Failure must be their design, as the co-opting of private plans paves the way for “glorious single payer”. Insurers serve as tax collectors, in the mean time.

    I have to disagree with only this part of your statement. “never convinced we the “stupid” people”. The people opposing the ACA are not who he is referencing when he says “stupid people” it is the propionates of the ACA that were fooled and stupid with a lot of help from the media.

    While I understand that it means nothing to the left and socialists, they will go along no matter what anyone says. However it does matter to the Independents that seem to decide the elections every year.

    I believe we need to make sure everyone understands the difference.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Merlin01. | December 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      yeah, I agree sorta, but was going for the “us versus them” perspective. Real America versus DC collectivist central planners.

      In Gruber’s head, it is all of “we the people” that are stupid and need to be led. But my point is, the Dem’s pushing “keep your doc, rates go down, etc.” weren’t even successful at winning a majority of all people, despite all the lies.

      They convinced a few percent maybe, but we as a nation have never wanted the communist/socialist corrupt boobs running our lives. Gruber’s MIT degree might as well be in Dungeons and Dragons, since he didn’t fix real problems, but sees himself as a Grandmaster in his academic bubble. He’s the idiot savant that can do high math in his head, but not much else.

    Ragspierre in reply to Midwest Rhino. | December 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Excellent homage to “The Christmas Carole”…!!!

    ObamaDoggle was, is, and will be, lies all the time. You can get dizzy trying to count the ways we were lied to, are lied to today, and will be lied to tomorrow.

    I won’t have anything to do with it. I refuse.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 10, 2014 at 9:45 am

This is exactly like the global warming fraud. Gruber got rich by producing a model that gave Democrats answers they liked so they could get control of healthcare, just like the climate “scientists” are being paid taxpayer money to produce models that generate the outcomes they want so that government can control energy. I’ve posted this excerpt from a Townhall column published in 2013 before, but it’s worth re-posting:

>>During last year’s climate meeting in Rio de Janeiro, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said that what the UN intends is “a complete economic transformation of the world.” In 2000, former French President Jacques Chirac called the Kyoto climate treaty “the first component of authentic global governance.” And last year IPCC Working Group III co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer said international climate policy is not about environmental policy; it is about “how we redistribute the world’s wealth.”<<

These are direct quotes from world leaders and/or people who occupy the highest levels of the U.N. IPCC who are supposed to be concerned about "climate change".

Once government controls energy, they control every aspect of human life: Food production, electricity, transportation, everything. I think it's driven by two things: 1) Neo-Malthusianisn. That is, they look at the charts showing global population has grown from 1 billion people to 7 billion in a century and believe that the world will soon run out of resources and 2) the hard left neo-communists who now controls the Democrat Party thinks it is unjust that America has so much of the world's wealth and our high standard of living uses too much of those scarce global resources. You need an annual income of about $34,000 to be in the top 1% of global earners, so that means over 75% of Americans are in the top global 1%. All that talk about "income inequality" is meant to appeal to a global audience as it is to a domestic one. Again, once government controls healthcare and energy, they will be able to hold American's standard of living in check while the rest of the developing world increases theirs, helping to rectify the injustice that America has "too much".

What is stunning and remarkable is that the Democrat Party can pull off both of these hoaxes – first taking over healthcare and eventually energy – in a country with free elections and a "free" press. It can only happen because the academics, pseudo-intellectuals and opinion shapers who control the media and the national "debate" know and understand that Democrats are lying about pretty much everything but they don't care because they believe in the end goals.

I know I sound like a fringy conspiracy nut but that's how I see it.

Remember when all the jobs reports went missing before the 2012 election? We were assured it wasn’t a political hack doing political hackery for Obama.

Has jobs data gone missing before or since? I haven’t seen it go missing… only prior to the election.

Or was that another lie the sheeples just swallowed and forgot about?

FRAUD:1. Criminal deception, the use of false representations to gain an unjust advantage. 2 a dishonest artifice or trick 3 A person or thing not fufilling what is claimed or expected of him, her, or it.
That pretty much sums it up. I hope in the future everyone discussing the “Affordable Care Act” will refer to it by what it is FRAUD!!!.
The first thing Obama did was get Jonathan Gruber appointed to the CBO Congressional Budget Office, so Gruber could work with the CBO & see how things were done. Essentially how budgetary figures were derived & to find out how the rules governing the CBO were used in practice. After spending 16 months finding out how to draft a budget in such a way that he (Gruber) could “massage the data” so that the CBO would accept his numbers. It didn’t hurt to make some friends while he was there & determine the weakest link with the most power at the CBO while he was there. After doing the ground work then Gruber submitted a work of true fiction to the budhet office
Gruber’s well rehearsed & often repeated at a myriad of venues concerning the “stupitiy of the American Voter” should have been addressed to the American politician. The American voter didn’t pass Obama Fraud congress did & then it was upheld in all its criminality by the Senate. Perhaps, people will recall the taxpayer funded bribes. The several billion dollar Cornhusker payout or my Senator Richard Shelby, one of the last hold outs on Obama Fraud. Finally voting yes when the communists met his price of $284,000,000. At least the University of Alabama got upgrades to its stadium & the Shelby School of Business got built. The polls at the time as they do now show that Americans do not support Obama Fraud by an overwhelming majority.
Time & time again alegaitions of fraud concerning this law have been proven. From the thousands of mafia style “no show” consulting contracts that the taxpayers paid over 3 BILLION DOLLARS for. To the $250,000,000 cost of building the governments website. The person responsible for designing & administrating the website former experience in the field of website design & IT was handling Michele Obama’s TWITTER feed. Is it any wonder with that vast knowledge of computer programming that the Obama Fraud website cost 5 times what setting up Ebay’s website. Ebay’s website in comparrison worked correctly & is orders of magnitude more complicated in esign & functionality than the governments insurance registration website.
The point to remember is that Obama Fraud’s site was never supposed to work. In every con, grift, fraud or Ponzi scheme there is the phase known as the blow off. This is the phase where after receiving the mark’s money (mark: target of fraud or con) you just want them to go away so you can count their money & the mark can begin to realize they have been robbed. This is the phase the American people find themselves in now. Some stil scratching their heads in wonderment, trying to decide if they should sign up or call the police.
Congress interviewed Travenner & Gruber yesterday. Travenner was supenaed to turn over documents & emails, like Lois Learnered she sneered at the Commitee as she glibly failed to do so & could barely contain her laughter as she promised to provide the requested documents in the next 90 days. Congress has the power to cite witnesses for contempt. They even have the authority to arrest & hold in jail those found to be in contempt until such time as the terms of Congressional Supenas are met. There are 3 ways they can do this, 1 they can ask the justice dept to arrest those in contempt ( Fat chance Eric Holder would be any help) 2 they can appeal to the Executive branch ( No help there either) 3. They can call the Sargeant in Arms & under their own Congessional powers have uncooperative witnesses arrested & jailed until such time as they decide to comply.
Darryl Issa should have chosen this option yesterday & had Travenner arrested on the spot. Maybe several weeks in DC metro jail would improve her attitude. Gruber, who on several occasions appeared to be on the verge of tears, wouldn’t be able to cooperate fast enough. Gruber would sing like a canary as long as he is held in protective custody, Gruber can & will provide all the testimony needed to put virtually every politician & insurance company executive involved in prison for many years. As long as Obama can’t get to Gruber , he should survive long enough to testify. Though anyone who is an embarassment to Obama have a habit of getting suicidally depressed with a .45 that no one ever knew they had.
Arrest, prosecution, and long stays in prison are what anyone else involved in this kind of criminal behavior would receive. Obama claims our legal system is broken, he is right. I have watched for 6 years as over & over again criminals working for the Obama administration on orders from the White House manage to walk away with no consequence. Write your congressional representative you senator &/or call the congressional comitee members themselves & demand action. They may not be from your state but as invetstigators of a national criminal conspiracy that will ultimately result in the collapse of our economy & our healthcare system they represent all of us in this matter. Its time to tell them to get to work.

While Obama is robbing the bank vault, he is inciting riots on the streets to cover his crimes.

It takes a disturbed presidential child to raze a village.