Healthcare Bill - One Big Reason Why it Failed.
Posted on Feb 21 2010 at 02:07:11 PM in Government
President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other democratic leaders have stated that one reason why the healthcare bill failed is because the people didn’t understand what was in it and that if we did we certainly would have supported it as it was “good for us”.
Maybe they are right. I don’t know because you can count me as one of those people who doesn’t know what is in that bill. I believe however that that I am in good company. I would venture to guess that the likes of most of congress as well as every citizen don't know what’s in that bill. I would even venture to guess that President Obama doesn’t know everything that is in that bill. How could we? 2000+ pages of legalese. Such Nonsense.
This is from the Title of HR 3962: Affordable Health Care Reform Act
"To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes"
"other purposes"...that's beautiful, oink..oink...
Why do bills have to be written in this fashion? Why not write a bill in plain English in less than, oh I don’t know, 5 - 10 pages? The Constitution of the US is 4 pages. 3 really as the last page has mostly signatures and it laid the framework for an entire country to operate.
OK, I’ve never tried to write legislation nor am I lawyer. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say it’s simply impossible to do that. I still refuse to believe it takes 2000 pages to write legislation on anything! Even if it takes hundreds of pages there are still some things that can be done so we citizens can read it, understand it, and decide how we want our representatives to vote. Call me a cynic but I lean towards believing this is intentional and the politicians don’t want us to know everything that’s in a given bill.
Here are my suggestions for bills to be written and processed under Government 2.0
1) No pork/earmarks, zero, none. Find another mechanism to funnel monies to states. I suspect we just cut the number of pages for every bill by 50%
2) Bills can NOT be used to negotiate anything. Congress must vote on the merits of the bill only. No representative can use his vote to negotiate something else.
3) All bills must have a preamble that clearly and in non legal terms outline all of the key points of the bill. So we the people can fully understand what the bill is for and we can then decide whether or not we support it and we can pass our feelings along to our representatives.
4) The last page(s) of the preamble should include CBO cost estimates and proposed methods of paying for said costs.
5) The preamble should be no more than 2 pages of bullet points and 2 pages of estimated costs and funding methods. If it takes more you’ve done something wrong, go back and start again.
6) All bills must be posted on the Web and minimally have the preamble posted to major media outlets at least 30-60 days before the bill is to be voted on.
7) Our Senators and Congressman must have methods (Web Page) for receiving and publishing citizens’ votes for/against the bill.
If legislatures can do these simple things it would be a huge step toward regaining people’s confidence in government. Then we can have real debate and make informed decisions. Short of that this citizen will never trust what the politicians or the talking heads are telling us about any bill leaving me no choice but to view most, if not all major legislation like the healthcare bill, with cynicism and disdain.
I can’t support what I don’t understand and none of us can be expected to understand 2000 pages of legalese. Of course this is part of the problem isn't it. Most politicians on both sides (and a fair number of citizen elites)don't believe that we the people are smart enough to know what is or is not good for us...