Saturday, January 9, 2010

Health Care and Integrity

We have commented on the bent of Prof Gruber's work from the MIT perspective before, somewhat in opposition. However the article in Atlantic gives it a whole new perspective. The magazine states:

He shows up in the work of the left-half of the health care commentariat so often that if I tried to round up representative cites, this piece would be published sometime next month, and you'd die of old age before you made your way through it.

But he probably wouldn't have been cited with quite the same authority--particularly by mainstream media--if he'd been more upfront about the fact that he's being paid almost $300,000 by the Obama Administration for "special studies and analysis" of the health care bills, as a blogger on Firedoglake revealed last night. Ben Smith has the rundown; apparently most of the health care beat reporters were as unaware of the relationship as I was.

Yes, I guess, if one believes the Atlantic, that he is being paid $300,000 of our hard earned tax dollars to sell the Administrations ideas. That is truly disturbing. On the medical school side of things one must be excessively careful in pre-emptive disclosure, not just telling if asked. As an academic and using the platform of your university clarity and integrity are essential.

This is frankly a quite disturbing revelation if it is but half true. MIT suffers as do all its faculty and students if its faculty use the platform of the Institute to sell politically paid for ideas, paid by the tax dollars perhaps which could have been more wisely spent healing a sick child.

When I walk through the Children's Hospital front entrance to go over to the Brigham I see day after day young children and their families in various stages of suffering, fear of the disease, fear of not having the money, and having such a sum spent on such an endeavor is frankly unacceptable. Pity it has to be MIT.

You see, I disagree with the good Professor, and yet I take no money from anyone, in fact I volunteer my time at the Brigham, hopefully in a productive manner as I also volunteer my time at MIT. That is the part of giving back to the institution as well as to those who will follow on. It appears as if the good Professor is at that stage where the hand is always out. Hopefully some at MIT will take notice, like us alumni who are always asked for money.