MIT professor Gruber vs. “stupid American voters”

See UPDATE Below

Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and sometime architect of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has a fancy mathematical model named after himself–the Gruber Microsimulation Model (GMSIM)*. This model forms the basis of Obamacare.

Gruber is The Ford Professor of Economics at MIT. He teaches a class in Public Finance and Public Policy to the impressionable young minds whose parents shell out thousands for a prestigious MIT education.

But he is also the Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Program on Health Care from 2009-present. He was paid almost $400,000 in taxpayer money to provide technical assistance to the creators of Obamacare.

In this now-famous video, Gruber is very pleased with how he and the other architects of Obamacare pulled a fast one on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). And how they carefully disguised the true effects of the law from “stupid American voters”:

Until recently, Democrat Senator Max Baucus was very pleased with Gruber and his GMSIM model, calling it “unbiased, like the Congressional Budget Office.” On the floor of the Senate, CSPAN recorded Baucus as saying that Gruber was the source of the figure batted around by Obama claiming Obamacare would save a family of four $2,500 a year (and we all know what a lie THAT was):

Baucus (from the CSPAN transcript):

In addition to CBO, MIT’s Jon Gruber has also done a study on premiums. And what does he conclude? He concludes, using Congressional Budget Office data, the Senate bill could mean people purchasing individual insurance would save every year $200 for single coverage and $500 for family coverage in 2009 dollars. Most people think he is one of the best outside experts. He has big computer models. He takes the CBO data and, in some respects, he has helped CBO by giving some information to CBO that
it otherwise does not have.

Mr. Gruber also points out that people with low incomes would receive premium tax credits that will reduce the price they pay for health insurance by as much as $2,500 to $7,500.

To help us “stupid Americans,” understand why Obamacare is such a wonderful invention, Gruber even wrote a comic book (or maybe you could call it a “graphic novel”).

Jonathan Gruber wrote a comic book explaining Obamacare

On FOX News, Megyn Kelly featured Gruber in a second video saying that “the American people are too stupid to understand.”

UPDATE: In yet a third video, Gruber talks about how they exploited the basic lack of understanding of the American voter, playing fast and loose with the truth by telling voters the new tax would fall on the INSURANCE companies for so-called “Cadillac Plans,” even though the Insurance companies would just pass the tax on to consumers.

He really thinks Americans are stupid, doesn’t he? So what are we going to do about it?

*About Gruber’s Model

According to a 2012 story in the New York Times, Gruber invented the concept of the Individual Mandate in Obamacare. Gruber has “nearly cornered the market on the technical science” of modeling health care laws. Furthermore, Gruber is “the only person you can go to for that kind of thing, which is why the White House reached out to him in the first place.”

 

Failing the mumps test

Are you old enough to remember the “mumps test”? That’s when your mother gives you a dill pickle and watches while you bite down on it and then scream in pain, confirming that you have indeed contracted a case of the mumps.

Yes, all these decades later, Ms. Contrarian Scientist can remember the feverish haze, the swollen chipmunk cheeks, and the sting of pain after taking a bite out of that dratted pickle.

Eight young men living together in a frat house or playing on the lacrosse team at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey never had a need for the mumps test—until now. They join another eight frat brothers at Fordham University in New York City, who contacted the disease earlier this year. And a significant outbreak of mumps is going on in and around the Ohio State University in Columbus.

Sick child in bed with teddy bearFully immunized

Despite its silly name, the mumps is no laughing matter. The disease, which is caused by a virus and spread through saliva, can render you deaf or sterile, or even kill you. There’s good reason to fear the mumps, which is why it has long been included in that standard combination vaccine most babies receive—the term MMR stands for “measles, mumps and rubella.”

And these sick young people were all fully immunized against mumps, or they wouldn’t be allowed to attend their respective schools.

So our question today is, “What does the Scientific Method have to say about incidents like these?”

First off, it’s pretty obvious that the mumps vaccination does not prevent all people from contracting the mumps.

Beware the mind police

But you can’t just come out and say that, can you? Because the mind police will be after you like white on rice.

Alrighty then, you could safely conclude that the particular form of the mumps vaccination these young men took did not prevent them from contracting the mumps. Was there some change in the vaccination 15 or 20 years ago when these students received it that weakened its effectiveness? That’s something to look into.

Or, maybe because it’s been years since their last booster shots, the effects have worn off. Some doctors concur:

“The immunity that’s induced by the virus starts to wane. They believe that it holds until at least late teenage years, but then it starts to wane,” said Dr. Dana Saltzman, a disease specialist told NBC New York. “There’s no way to predict who’s going to lose their immunity or not.”

Infant child baby kid hand with medical insulin syringeBut saying that the vaccine wears off gradually doesn’t fit the vaccine narrative, does it? I thought that once we’ve been exposed to a particular virus, we can never catch that virus again.

Works for me, but not for thee

Could it be that the vaccine just doesn’t work on everyone? Vaccines contain de-fanged versions of diseased cells that cause your body to mount an immune defense against them. The theory is that once your body has created the specific immune cells needed to fight a disease, it “remembers” what to do the next time it encounters those particular germs. But maybe not everyone has an immune system strong enough or “smart” enough to do this.

Another possibility: The vaccine just makes you less likely to get the mumps, and if you do get them, there is less risk of serious complications. But, weren’t we always told that the purpose of a vaccine is to PREVENT the disease, not just lessen the risk of complications?

Or, as one commenter on the Stevens Institute story noted, will vaccinations go down as one of the biggest con jobs in history?

A complicated puzzle

From just the arguments and counter-arguments presented in this short article, it’s easy to conclude that we (and by we, I mean scientists) don’t really understand the whole vaccine thing the way we thought we did. Questions remain—big questions.

But for some odd reason, scientific journals don’t allow publication of data that contradicts the vaccination bullies, even when that data comes from published, peer reviewed science.

Because, to hear public health authorities talk, we KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that VACCINES ARE NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC and furthermore VACCINES NEVER CAUSE PROBLEMS, so SHUT UP AND TAKE YOUR SHOTS, baby.

I wonder if the nurses at the Stevens Institute clinic gave those unfortunate young men the pickle test?