The scariest words uttered during Jonathan Gruber’s recent appearance before the House Oversight Committee were “positive selection.” They were read aloud by Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, from a 1997 paper the professor co-authored concerning abortion. The opus in question made the Congressman uneasy because of the following passage: “By 1993 all cohorts under the age 19 were born under legalized abortion and we estimate steady state savings of $1.6 billion per year from positive selection.” Rep. Massie asked the professor what was meant by “positive selection.” This question was evidently not anticipated in Gruber’s pre-testimony coaching, so he became evasive.
Considering what it means, this is no surprise. “Positive selection” is no ordinary example of academic jargon. The term is frequently used by evolutionary biologists, who tell us it is responsible for the development of “traits that define our species—notably the enormous brain, advanced cognitive abilities, complex vocal organs, bipedalism and opposable thumbs.” And Gruber refers to mass abortions of unborn babies, whom he describes as “marginal children,” as an example of positive selection that includes the added benefit of saving the government money. Should we be worried that an architect of Obamacare seems to be an advocate of what sounds an awful lot like eugenics?
And, attempts by the Democrats to revise history notwithstanding, Gruber did play an important part in Obamacare’s design. As I pointed out in this space a few weeks ago, he is known to have been present at high-level White House meetings at which crucial decisions were made concerning controversial provisions of the law. Moreover, the Obama DOJ has frequently cited him in its court filings relating to King v. Burwell and other crucial cases relating to PPACA. Considering his views on the subject, it is virtually certain that Gruber was also involved in the decision to require insurance carriers to include abortion coverage in policies sold through Obamacare exchanges.
Thus, despite the President’s guarantee to gulls like former congressman Bart Stupak that Obamacare would not fund abortions, a recent report from the Government Accountability Office indicates that 1,036 health plans sold through exchanges in 28 states cover “abortion services.” Is it reasonable to associate this with eugenics? To answer that question, it’s necessary to contrast those who insist on the coverage of abortions with the people who actually avail themselves of these “services.” Oddly enough, it is primarily middle class white progressives who push abortion on demand, but most of those who send their unborn babies to “Elsewhere” are women of color.
It is the unborn babies of these African-American and Hispanic women whom Gruber has relegated to the status of “Marginal children.” In the paper about which Rep. Massie quizzed Gruber, the minority baby whose low-income mother has decided not to abort is “50% more likely to receive welfare.” On the other hand, the minority mothers who complied with the wishes of their progressive overlords “saved the government over $14 billion in welfare expenditures.” Most white progressives claim abortion on demand is about “reproductive freedom.” Gruber’s paper suggests that it’s really about controlling the growth of inconvenient segments of the population.
Perhaps with this in mind, Rep. Massie moved on to a different line of questions raised by the professor’s assignment of certain children to marginal status. The Congressman asked Gruber concerning another troublesome and rapidly growing cohort of the American population: “Does your philosophy on abortion, that it can save money and improve outcomes, have any implications in the realm of end of life care?” Gruber looked befuddled, so Massie elaborated: “If there are fewer elderly people, particularly poor elderly people, wouldn’t that save a ton of money, too?” Gruber ducked the question: “I have no philosophy of abortion. I have no philosophy of end of life care.”
When Massie continued to press him about whether he supported the rationing of end-of-life care, Gruber finally claimed, “I do not advocate that government should ration end of life care.” This was almost certainly a lie. Gruber is on record saying that, where medical decisions are concerned, “seniors do a terrible job.” And other academics who participated in the development of Obamacare are well-known advocates of rationing care to the elderly. Ezekiel Emanuel, for example, co-authored an article that overtly promoted allocation of health care resources according to the age of the patient: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination.”
And there are, of course, provisions of Obamacare that are obviously designed for the purpose of denying care to seniors. The most obvious of these is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), whose function will be to instruct Medicare that certain expensive drugs and treatment strategies will no longer be provided to patients above a certain age, regardless of availability. There is also the innocuous-sounding “end-of-life counseling,” which was recently revived for the third time by Medicare bureaucrats who want to pay physicians extra money to discuss “alternatives” with elderly patients whose conditions are so serious that it will be extremely expensive to keep them alive.
Which brings us back to “positive selection.” If Obamacare can stop seniors from overstaying their welcome and prevent “marginal children” from escaping the womb, the result will be a younger, healthier population that consumes fewer resources. It will have “fundamentally transformed” us into a superior race. Moreover, our gene pool will have been altered such that this process will tend to snowball. It would appear then, considering the views of PPACA architect Jonathan Gruber and other participants in the law’s design, that Obamacare is just the latest progressive experiment in eugenics.