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MT: Baucus praised ‘unbiased’ MIT professor’s expertise on Obamacare

Former U.S. senator from Montana and current U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus is getting some press time. The revelation of insulting comments about American voters by MIT professor and “intellectual architect” of Obamacare Jonathan Gruber have put Democrats on the defensive again as they attempt to avoid being linked to them. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have both gone to great lengths to distance themselves from Gruber, but Baucus ranks high on the list of Democrat leaders who previously cited Gruber’s work.

Baucus once famously compared Obamacare to a train wreck.  As the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee at the time, Baucus’ words were damaging,but perhaps the greatest impact of his playing a major role in the Affordable Care Act was to his career in the Senate.  Having been appointed ambassador, Baucus avoided what may likely have been a brutal loss in a bid for reelection.  The senator isn’t avoiding getting away unscathed.

Below is a partial transcript of the former senior Sen. Max Baucus, citing Gruber while speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Dec. 9, 2009:

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.

Baucus doesn’t end there; he goes on to contrast the work done by the Congressional Budget Office and by Gruber with studies done by opponents of the ACA, clearly striving to Gruber above scrutiny:

The Congressional Budget Office and Professor Gruber are both credible and unbiased sources that are not bought and sold by the insurance industry.

Michael Mattson

Michael Mattson is State Editor for Watchdog Wire - Montana. He is founder and Executive Editor of The Hellroaring Review, an online literary journal that focuses on very short ("flash") fiction, as well as The Hellroaring Report, a news aggregator focused on the Mountain West and Northern Plains. Contact Michael at Montana@WatchdogWire.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Hell_Roaring

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Categories: Budget and Finance, Commentary, Healthcare, Must Read
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