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Monday, November 30, 2009

Simulations And Misinformation

I can't count the number of times I hear Congressional Republicans, conservative pundits, and bloggers prattle endlessly about the economics of proposed healthcare reform. From the fear-laced rhetoric that grandma and your cousin with Downs are gong essentially be tossed to the wolves unless you can pony-up more cash than you can even afford right now.

But economics and conservatives have never been good bedfellows. The reason is that the later has little interest in hard data and more interesting in generating that one soundbite that will get them mentioned by either Fox"News" or Rush Limbaugh - preferably both.

And now, from sickness, comes word that the savings of proposed healthcare legislation are correct, as the CBO has reported.

The new document arms Democrats with a response to the contention of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that the bill would mean “higher premiums, higher taxes, and massive cuts to Medicare.”

The “microsimulation” analysis is by Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Treasury Department official under President Bill Clinton. Gruber used data from the Congressional Budget Office.

It's never been a secret that conservative Republicans will only agree with the CBO so long as the CBO agrees with them. And in reference to healthcare reform, the Republicans in both houses on Congress haven't had a many reasons to agree with the CBO.

I'm actually waiting for the moment when someone like Mitch McConnell actually claims that the CBO is now a liberal organization with an agenda that they are trying to set.

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