January 8, 2010
Now we know why some prominent economists came out swinging so strongly for ObamaCare, notwithstanding its economic stupidity:
MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the leading academic defenders of health care reform, is taking heat for failing to disclose consistently that he was under contract with the Department of Health and Human Services while he was touting the Democrats' health proposals in the media.
Gruber, according to federal government documents, is under a $297,600 contract until next month to provide "technical assistance" in evaluating health care reform proposals. He was under a $95,000 HHS contract before that.
But while he was being paid to provide his services to HHS, he was also fending off health care reform critics in the media. Gruber was one of the prominent analysts to rebut an insurance industry report from PricewaterhouseCoopers in October saying premiums would shoot up if a health care bill passes. And he has recently written columns defending specific provisions in the House and Senate bills, particularly the "Cadillac tax" on high-cost insurance plans.
...Funnily enough, it's the Left that began the firestorm of attacks on Sneaky Gruber, though I'm sure the rest of us will climb aboard that crazy train pretty soon:
"I have never seen it disclosed that he was a paid consultant to the Obama administration," a blogger for Firedoglake wrote Friday morning. "For months I have been angry with Gruber because I thought he was simply an exaggerator whose dangerous love of the spotlight was hurting the efforts of progressives to make sure the Senate bill adopted more progressive cost control solutions. ... Now it is clear something much more sinister was at play."
The Daily Kos declared that, given Gruber's contract, the "fix was in" for the Cadillac plan.
But that's all right; Gruber insists that his dogged defense of ObamaCare has "nothing to do" with the nearly $400,000 HHS paid him. After all, all of his comments, e-mails, editorials, and other advocacy activities "have been done on my own time."
So he's an independent-contractor shill.
Gruber notes in his defense that he told reporters about his payoffs "whenever they asked." If it didn't occur to them to ask whether he was secretly being supported by the very administation he was cheerleading -- hey, that's not Gruber's fault!
So Gruber gets greased, then Gruber becomes an ObamaCare enthusiast; I am inexplicably reminded of Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA, 65%) and Ben Nelson (D-NE, 75%).
It does tell us something, does it not, that the signature issue of the Obamic administration, nationalized health care, can only be advanced by out and out bribery -- of congressmen, of economists, and of sundry voting constituencies (AARP, the AMA, unions, and suchlike). But isn't that true for every issue of the Obamic administration, from Cripple and Tax to Card Check to globaloney to collateral stimulation of the economy -- or at least those portions of it run by Obamunist BFFs like Big Labor, Big Hollywood, and Big Soros?
One hopes the American people will use their votes more wisely this November and again in 2012. Perhaps the only benefit arising from the election of Barack H. Obama is the clarity he inadvertently brings to the dangers of electoral dice-rolling.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 8, 2010, at the time of 2:31 PM
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