Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude Grubnado Part II

Like the over-the-top sequel to a bad Sci-Fi movie, the swirling storm of lies, two-handed economists, and laywers and politicians with sharp teeth and small brains, the Grubnado just refuses to die.

UH OH: Obama: ’Like Your Plan, Keep Your Plan.’ Gruber, 2009: ‘Five Million People Will Lose Their Plan’
. . .On April 8, 2010, Jonathan Gruber himself cited his “Gruber analysis” in a memo released by the Center for American Progress. His memo was written as a defense of the necessity of the “individual mandate,” the requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance or pay a fine. He referred to the “Gruber microsimulation model,” his model that produced the results Pelosi touted in the 2009 interview.

Wrote Gruber:
What would happen if we repealed the mandate?
Some critics have suggested repealing the mandate embedded in the PPACA, while retaining most of its more “popular” provisions. But such a policy would be disastrous for both the cost of insurance and the number of people covered.
. . .
▪ Total insurance coverage would rise by fewer than 10 million persons rather than the 32 million persons estimated by CBO. The number of uninsured would be reduced by less than 20 percent rather than by about two-thirds.
▪ Employer-sponsored insurance, which is projected to erode by about 5 million persons under reform, would instead erode by over 20 million persons.
▪ The fully implemented cost of the legislation in 2019 would fall by only about 20 percent—we would spend 80 percent as much to cover fewer than one-third as many people.
20 million, 5 million. What's a few eggs when you have an omelette to make. Can't have the plebes making their own choices. Especially the older, more experience ones:

'Seniors do a terrible job choosing' health care plans
“We have experimented with choice in public insurance: Medicare Part D,” Gruber stated on a presentation slide dated Jan. 22, 2013. “Typical senior has 50 PDPs [Prescription Drug Plans] to choose from.”

But what’s wrong with seniors being able to choose their own plan?

“Seniors do a terrible job choosing,” Gruber said.

Gruber’s slide then claimed that 12 percent of seniors allegedly picked the lowest-cost Medicare Part D plan and could on average save up to 30 percent more, without noting that some seniors pick prescription drug plans that work for them that are not necessarily the cheapest possible plan.
Health Care Law Recasts Insurers as Obama Allies
WASHINGTON — As Americans shop in thehealth insurance marketplace for a second year,President Obama is depending more than ever on the insurance companies that five years ago he accused of padding profits and canceling coverage for the sick.

Those same insurers have long viewed government as an unreliable business partner that imposed taxes, fees and countless regulations and had the power to cut payment rates and cap profit margins.

But since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership that has been a boon to the nation’s largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in theirMedicaid enrollment.
Jonathan Gruber says voters are 'stupid.' But the real idiots are the Democrats in Congress.
. . . The root problem of the negotiations over ObamaCare was that Democrats were obsessed with Beltway political neuroses. They strained mightily to ensure the policy didn't increase the deficit. They delayed implementation for two whole years to make the policy look cheaper than it really was (because the Congressional Budget Office traditionally scores laws over 10 years). They twisted themselves into knots to avoid the individual mandate being labeled as a tax (which the Supreme Court forced on them anyway).

Nobody outside the political elite cares about this kind of stuff. At all. Indeed, it's fair to say that most American voters aren't even aware of these machinations. Most Americans barely know which party is in charge of which part of government, whether the deficit is going up or down, which presidential candidate has which platform, etc., let alone the tortured negotiation details of hugely complex piece of legislation. . .
Another democrat who thinks democracy is wasted on the little people. A short musical interlude:

Thanks to Jonathan Gruber for revealing Obamacare deception
Democrats are desperately distancing themselves from Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. He “never worked on our staff,” President Obama said this weekend in Brisbane, Australia, (even though Gruber was paid almost $400,000 by his administration, is the intellectual author of the individual mandate and met in the Oval Office with Obama and the head of the Congressional Budget Office to pore over the bill). “I don’t know who he is,” Nancy Pelosi declared on Capitol Hill (even though she repeatedly cited him by name during the Obamacare debate).

The reason Democrats are running from Gruber is the same reason conservatives should be thanking him: Gruber has exposed what liberals really think of the American people.

As of this weekend, there are now seven Gruber videos, in which he mocks the “stupidity” of American voters and boasts of the Obama administration’s ability to take advantage of it. In a new video that surfaced Friday, Gruber explains that the Obama administration passed the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-value employer health plans “by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we know it’s a tax on people who hold these insurance plans.” Americans would not support a tax on individuals, so “We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on the higher prices . . . it ends up being the same thing.” The ruse, Gruber says, was “a very clever . . . basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
So it's seven videos now? My sense is that there are a whole raft of them, and they're being released one a day for a few weeks.

That's been my sense through out the Grubnado; that the value that Gruber brought to the administration's Obamacare effort was his computer programs simulations of the CBO scoring allowed them to craft a bill they could sell containing plan they had to take over the nations healthcare system, not that Gruber was particularly a fount of wisdom regarding healthcare. They were pretty free with throwing his name  around as an expert early, when they thought it was an easy sell. Now that he's been revealed as an anti-democratic technocrat, they've suddenly developed amnesia as to his actual role.

Obama Calls Gruber A Guy He's "Stolen Ideas From" Predicted White House defense: Obama knows at least three "Jon Grubers".

Obama Calls Jon Gruber "Some Advisor"
He also claims, in the video below, to have just heard about this Gruber business from the newspapers. Another claim he makes is that Obamacare was thoroughly "debated."
The fact that some advisor who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters, is no reflection on the actual process that was run.
We had a year-long debate, Ed. I mean, go back and look at your stories.The one thing we can't say is that we did not have a lengthy debate about health care in the United States of America, or that it was not adequately covered.
First of all, it wasn't. The political and media classes themselves never explained how Obamacare would work -- they only presented Obama's predictions about how wonderful it would be. Not the details of how it would allegedly work -- who would pay for it, and who would actually benefit.

Second of all, as Jim Geraghty points out, you can't say we "debated" the plan when in fact the Plan was to hide the Plan from the "stupid" American voters, all along.
The entire "debate" was set up to occur over false premises. Gruber has admitted that the Administration offered not debate but calculated lies at every turn.
HHS Secretary implies Gruber persona non grata … $400,000 later
. . .Paige Winfield Cunningham then offers her own editorial analysis, saying in effect: hey, guys, it’s not like this guy is a chief architect of ObamaCare or anything:

But while conservatives are all but labeling him the giver of Obamacare in their effort to wring political points out of his statements, Gruber wasn’t the first to suggest such central components as the law’s exchanges, mandates, insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion.
And, the law’s proponents point out, he was more of a scorekeeper than an actual creator of the law.
But on July 25, 2014, the same reporter, Paige Winfield Cunningham, had a different view:
One of Obamacare’s chief architects, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, just handed conservatives a gotcha moment.
Health law opponents and conservative academics are highlighting a two-year-old video of Gruber — who has advised both the Obama administration and then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health reform effort — in which he seems to agree that the law’s health insurance subsidies can’t be awarded through federal-run exchanges, only through the state-run markets.
So it’s not like he’s an “actual creator” of the law — just one of its “chief architects.” You see the distinction, don’t you? Yeah, me neither.
Gruber: RomneyCare just a way to “rip off” the feds for $400 million a year

So if Romneycare was based on ripping off the feds, who will Obamacare rip off.  I think you know the answer to that. You.

Speaking of rips offs: Jon Gruber Made $6 Million From the American Taxpayer, Advising Government Officials On His Own Plan

Yes, I hit on this yesterday, but later I remembered my own experiences with government grants, and I wonder how much of this largess was sucked off by MIT and other institutions as overhead.

Gruber Lets Obama's Socialist Cat Out of the Bag
“Letting the cat out of the bag” is a phrase, blogger Matt Blitz tells us, that comes from the old days of the Royal Navy. That cat was a cat o’ nine tails, a whip of nine leather strands studded with metal beads. To let the cat out of the bag meant someone was going to be flogged. Such floggings could open up deep, bloody wounds on the sailor’s back, which, in those pre-penicillin days, could easily turn septic and kill the victim.

Jonathan Gruber will not be flogged. Josh Earnest disavowed him. Gruber will probably get off with just a tongue-lashing in the media – if they have to notice him at all. But the rest of us will be flogged, every day of our lives, by ObamaCare – until it is repealed.
Open Letter to Jonathan Gruber
Dear Dr. Gruber: How does it feel to be the latest victim of Barack Obama's 'throwing an ally under the bus' gambit?

  • The President doesn't know you he says,
  • Even if he did know you, the President doesn't agree with your analysis of either Obamacare or the American people he says,
  • The President never heard of you until he was informed about you through media reports he says,
  • White House visitor logs apparently showing you as a guest there on multiple occasions be damned the President is saying.

How does that make you feel?

Like a jilted lover or as an ideologue are you okay with taking one for the team?
He has 6 million reasons to take one for the team, although it's only about 3 million if MIT got it's cut.

Gallup: Obamacare popularity in free fall, reaches lowest rating in poll’s history

Americans have never been overly positive toward the ACA, at best showing a roughly equal division between approval and disapproval early on in the law’s implementation. The percentage of Americans who approve of the law represents a new numerical low, which could indicate a loss of faith in the law amid the aftermath of the 2014 midterms. Although the ACA, also called Obamacare, was not as dominant an issue in this year’s congressional elections as it was in 2010, the issue was part of Republicans’ campaign efforts to oppose the president’s agenda overall. In doing that, many of the party’s candidates were successful.

Though the law’s implementation suffered setbacks last fall, government officials have greater optimism for the health insurance website’s usability this time around. Importantly, though, approval of the law has remained low throughout the year even as it has had obvious success in reducing the uninsured rate. And with approval holding in a fairly narrow range since last fall, it may be that Americans have fairly well made up their minds about the law, and even a highly successful second open enrollment period may not do much to boost their approval.
Another rude Obamacare surprise awaits
As the Affordable Care Act enters its second year of operability, a key and controversial element of the plan will begin to affect several million Americans for the first time. People who didn’t have health insurance during 2014 may soon have to pay apenalty fee that starts at $95 and goes up based on how much you earn. Some Americans know about the penalty, and they’ve budgeted for it or at least accepted its inevitability. But several million others could be in for a rude surprise when Washington assesses a fee they didn’t even know was coming.

The uninsured rate has fallen since Obamacare, as the ACA is known, went into effect at the start of 2014. But there are still roughly 40 million adult Americans who lack health insurance, according to Census Department data. A recent poll by Gallup shows that about 55% of the uninsured plan to get insurance, while 35% say they’re willing to pay the fine for not having coverage. That leaves 10% of the uninsured — 4 million people or so -- who appear to be unaware they need to have insurance or pay a penalty. Plus, some of the 55% who say they plan to get coverage inevitably won’t, including a portion who probably don’t know they’ll get stuck paying a penalty.
And from Wombat-socho's "Live at Five: 11.18.14":

First Street Journal: Well, I’ve Got The Answer!

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