Now We Know . . . that We Don’t Know

by Paul Howard

Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously quipped last March that ”we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy”. 

Well, the bill passed, but the controversy continues to swirl — especially since the “fog” is built into the legislation. According a report from the Congressional Research Service, “the precise number of new entities [agencies, boards, commissions] that will ultimately be created pursuant to PPACA is currently unknowable” (emphasis added).

Besides the Heisenberg-esque Bureacracy Principle built into the legislation — We can’t know exactly how much new bureaucracy Obamacare will add until the bureaucracy decides how much more bureaucracy it needs — the report also notes that the law poses a conflict-of-interest problem for the Government Accountability Office, “which must appoint at least 83 new members to six new boards. . . . It is unclear how GAO will be able to independently audit these entitites when the [comptroller general] has appointed their members.”

The only thing that’s clear: We can expect more confusion to emerge in short order.

Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.