Thursday, November 13, 2014

OMG: MIT Prof Gruber, Who Thinks the Public is Stupid and Needs to Be Lied to About Obamacare, Put Out a Comic Book about Obamacare

MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber, who has been caught on tape (3 times) saying the "Stupidity" of Americans Would've Killed Obamacare and that therefore it required officials to lie about what Obamacare was really about, also put out a comic book about Obamacare: Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works

Here's an interesting comment on the comic book and Gruber that was put up at Amazon in December 2013:
 Really, Jonathan Gruber's childish comic-book style Democratic propaganda is filled with so many errors and distortions that it's amazing it passed editorial review and got published. Plus, he has a yellow, untrustworthy reputation. As a chief ObamaScare architect and socialist, he hid for a long time that he's received nearly $500,000 of direct, personal consultation payments from the feds, which has cost him his credibility. I'd love to debate this wacko.
Also, I've seen him on TV lately and he can't bring himself to admit or even address the entire "You can keep your healthcare plan and keep your doctor" lie, which was the reason for Obama's re-election and the basis of the entire move to socialize medicine in America. Obama should admit the lie and resign now.
Prof. Gruber is very slippery and untrustworthy and his comic book isn't looking so cute anymore, especially to the 6 million people who've just received health insurance cancellation notices, which will soon be 12 million.
Like Obama, Gruber is corrupt to the core and just another Ivy League wacko socialist professor with full tenure. Obamacare won't work any better than Amtrak did or US Post Office; they can't even bring up a website and had to give $500 million to Michelle's Princeton classmate to try to do so.
Obamacare has destroyed the private practice of medicine and will set our nation back decades in terms of medical R&D...
From another review (March 2012):
 I had no idea that this book was ENTIRELY in comic-book form.
And another March 2012 review:
Preface: I'm a physician and biased toward Gruber's views.

Gruber's book defends the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare. Gruber (an MIT economics professor) helped create Massachusettes's health care reform, aka Romneycare. In short, Gruber advocates mandatory health care insurance with a government option while preserving private health insurers.

So what's the problem with [comic book] It's too simplistic and doesn't have an audience.

The comic book format can be refreshing and engaging. Here, it comes off as trite and shallow. Nothing is referenced- Gruber could be making up all of his facts. Stereotypical caricatures abound- a panel of 'average' Americans, a Monopoly-guy resembling big business owner, and even Rush Limbaugh. To the book's credit, it covers several arguments against the ACA. Gruber dismisses them, though, with one or two cartoon panels. Gruber blithely asserts on how the ACA will be paid for- taxing the '1%' of rich Americans, profits from the health care industry, and efficiency improvements as seen with Medicare. There's multiple counterarguments to all these, foremost if the complicated American political environment would allow increased taxes on the '1%' or notoriously slippery corporations. Gruber does make an effective analogy to mandatory car insurance, but many would argue that the right to life and health (if it is indeed a right) is much different from car ownership.

In terms of an audience, this *might* be a good introductory book if you're entirely new to the health care debate. But I felt as if Gruber was trying to convert me to a new religion, much like the Chick tract comic books passed out by evangelical Christians. There's no balance. No admission, 'hey, it may not work that well'. Those with an even cursory interest in the health care debate probably already know that the United States's health care system already hemorrhages money, emergency room care is inefficient, health care expenditures will dramatically rise with an aging population, etc. If you're an ACA proponent, Gruber is preaching to the choir. If you're against the ACA, you're probably angry at how Gruber trivializes the argument, sets up straw men, and makes grandiose claims. If you're undecided, Gruber may momentarily rile you, but some sober thinking will make you desire a more complete, substantive analysis.

Ultimately, Gruber's book isn't helpful. It's a quick read, and Gruber is a smart man who can probably write a very long, well evidenced, drab tomb. But we need something between this comic book and a textbook, something most Americans can read, sympathize with, and make an educated stance on the health care debate. A great irony is how Romney himself is distancing himself from his own health care plan due to the hostile political environment. I don't see Dr. Gruber's book making much headway in this climate, either.

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