12:17 PM, Nov 16, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Two well-placed sources on Capitol Hill say that the Congressional Budget Office effectively used Jonathan Gruber’s model to score Obamacare. That model favors government mandates over market competition and claims that essentially the only way to achieve a large reduction in the number of uninsured Americans is to impose an Obamacare-like individual mandate. Moreover, because the model that the CBO used in scoring Obamacare is the same one it uses today, any alternative to Obamacare that doesn’t include an individual mandate — which is to say, any conservative alternative — would be scored by the CBO as falling well short, in terms of coverage numbers, of Gruber’s preferred legislation.
While the CBO’s model isn’t exactly the same as Gruber’s, one well-placed congressional source says that the two models are “eerily similar.” That source adds that, not only was Gruber one of the CBO’s academic advisors at the time that Obamacare was scored — a claim echoed by the Huffington Post — but two of Gruber’s graduate student protégés worked on the scoring.
Gruber himself describes his model and the CBO’s as being “very similar.” In early 2011, he wrote:
“CBO and I both estimate [the] that Affordable Care Act will cover about 60 percent of those who would be uninsured absent the law. We both find that there would be a very modest reduction of employer-sponsored insurance, that premiums in the nongroup insurance market for the same quality product would fall, and that there would not be much effect on premiums in the employer-provided insurance market.”
For the record, before Obamacare passed, the CBO predicted that the president’s signature legislation would have led to 19 million more people having health insurance by 2014 (see Table 4). In reality, Obamacare has maybe hit half that number — and many if not most of Obamacare’s newly insured have simply been dumped into Medicaid.
While failing to disclose it at the time, the Obama administration paid Gruber almost $400,000 in taxpayers’ money because, in the Department of Health and Human Services’ words, he had “developed a proprietary statistically sophisticated micro-simulation model” to which the Obama administration wanted access. Noting how “similar” Gruber’s model is to the CBO’s, the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler writes that, with access to Gruber’s model, the Obama administration “could predict with reasonable certainty how CBO would score legislation.” Kessler adds, “Given that legislation in Washington often falls or rises depending on the CBO score, that made this model a very powerful tool for administration officials.”
Given the importance of Gruber’s role, why wasn’t it made more transparent? Well, as Gruber might say — and has said — “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” especially given “the stupidity of the American voter.”
Gruber had influence over the CBO, the White House, and Congress alike. Indeed, it seems that it might be hard to overestimate his importance; his role was central to the efforts of President Obama and his Democratic allies to shove Obamacare down an unwilling citizenry’s throat.
3:42 PM, Nov 13, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The White House is incensed, mad enough to spit, and angry as a mashed cat at Jonathan Gruber for saying that the Affordable Care Act had to be sold to the “stupid” electorate by deceptive means. It seems that once the bill was passed and signed into law Mr. Gruber couldn’t stop talking about how his team had put one over on the rubes, sounding at times like any ordinary flim flam man.
9:10 AM, Nov 12, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The search for the meaning of last week’s election returns has yielded many theories to account for why people voted for the party out of power and against incumbents. Sure is a mystery, there. What could possibly be behind such random voter behavior? There must be clues, somewhere, carved into stone. Angry men. Apathetic women. Frustrated youths. Frightened seniors … take your pick.
3:15 PM, Nov 6, 2014 • By MARK TOOLEY
It is often claimed that conservative religious voters, especially white evangelicals, are going the way of the dinosaur, consigned to demographic irrelevance. But they were a key component of the Republicans’ 2014 midterm victories. According to exit polls, Conservative religious voters made up as big a percentage of the electorate as ever, and they backed Republicans at least as strongly as ever.
'Fact'9:48 AM, Nov 4, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Election Day has just begun, but MSNBC is already saying it's a "fact" that minority voters are being disenfranchised in Texas:
"This voter I.D. law, I can tell you for a fact, is going to disenfranchise voters--disproportionately minority voters," MSNBC reporter Zach Roth said live from Texas.
8:01 AM, Oct 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In speeches designed to fire up Democrats to vote in midterm elections, President Obama has at times described voters in his party as having a "congenital defect." Wednesday, First L
One in five black men under age 30 voted for Romney; youngest 'millennials' lean even more conservative.
8:20 AM, Aug 12, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
In the midst of rioting in St. Louis over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, the New York Times decided to stoke the embers of racial animus even further with an incendiary op-ed titled, "Can the G.O.P. Ever Attract Black Voters?"
8:13 AM, Jan 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Obama administration is worried that Israel is riling up American Jews, according to a report in the Israeli press. The allegations are detailed in a story headlined, "'US perceives Israel as encouraging anti-Obama backlash among Jews,'" which appears in the Jerusalem Post.
10:03 AM, May 25, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
It would be a major understatement to say that Obamacare has had a bad spring. Around the time of Lincoln’s birthday, registered voters told Fox News that, by a margin of 6 percentage points (48 to 42 percent), it would “be better to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009” than it would be “to leave the new health care law in place.” Three months later, as we head into Memorial Day, nostalgia for the good ol’ days of 2009 now beats Obamacare by a whopping 22 points (56 to 34 percent).
May 20, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 34 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Our demographic understanding of the 2012 election continues to be fleshed out, most recently with a Census Bureau report. Some of the census findings merely confirm what we thought we knew. For instance, for all the talk about 2008 as a “historic” election, turnout, as a percentage of eligible voters, was actually down slightly that year from 2004.
10:18 AM, May 6, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As everyone knows, the youth vote skewed heavily for President Obama. The question now is – will voting this way become a lifetime habit for these people. Or can they be turned back to the light of reason as they begin looking for the jobs they need to pay off their student loans.
2:00 PM, Nov 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Bill Kristol, with Mara Liasson, A.B. Stoddard, and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
And here's the Internet-only aftershow: