Friday, January 08, 2010

They've warned you as it drains away, But you don't listen

Update below

What's up with Fire Dog Lake these days!? First Jane Hamsher joins Grover Norquist and now Marcy Wheeler aligns with large corporations. I expect smear tactics from Faux News, but this is a non-story that's now all over the news. Here are some of the headlines:
FDL:Jonathan Gruber Failed to Disclose His $392,600 Contracts with HHS

Faux News actually had a more accurate headline: Economist Was Under Contract With HHS While Touting Health Reform Bill
Here is the relevant part of The New England Journal of Medicine's conflict of interest policy:
Public funding sources, such as the NIH or the MRC, need not be disclosed.
Professor Gruber wasn't paid by the Obama Administration, he had a grant from HHS. Just like my work is paid for by a grant from the NIH. Obama can't just call up any Federal agency and get a paper written, all of these grants are peer reviewed at multiple stages.

How do these people think research gets done? Would they rather corporations pay for it? So what if reporters didn't do due diligence, they don't even fact check, and no one has suggested that anything Gruber has said isn't factual. And it's not like he gets all the money, there's overhead for MIT, technical and administrative support services, researchers.

The folks at FDL are doing everything they can to stop health care reform, even dishonest smear tactics like this, trying to make some conspiracy theory out of what is publicly available information. In fact, their 'source' was a website setup by the Obama Admin.

Their stance on HCR aligns them with insurance companies, the US Chamber of Commerce and drug corporations.

I still have hopes we'll get a better bill, but my god if all those folks are against it, then I'll take what I can get.

Update: I stand corrected by a commenter, Prof. Gruber didn't receive a grant, it was a "CONTINUATION OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR EVALUATING OPTIONS FOR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE REFORM"

And the contracts are only 2 of 18 contracts he has received from the Federal gov't since 2002. From everybody from the DOJ, to the DOD, to the HHS, to the State Department.

This is what happens when you're a leading expert in economic analysis.
Here is a list of his publications since 1991.

He's been writing papers about HCR since at least 1995.



Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

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