Critical Condition

An Incredibly Out of Control Health Bill

I beg to differ with Hans Kuttner’s analysis of the reading time required to chew through the latest health-reform bill: 221 pages a day if you only plan to participate when the vote is called on Veterans’ Day.

H.R. 3200, the bill that drove us crazy all summer, clocked in at 2,454 pages as reported out of committee. However, it was introduced at 1,017 pages. The ratio, 2.41, suggests that the bill to be voted on by Veterans’ Day will be at least 4,801 pages. And remember: H.R. 3200 never even came to a vote!

I should also note that Speaker Pelosi repeated the well-worn mantra that politicians of all stripes, of both parties, had been trying to “reform” health care for a century, since Teddy Roosevelt was president.

Wow: Health care as we know it didn’t even exist then. There was no penicillin, no medical devices, and only one drug — Aspirin. And even then they were trying to take it over? Imagine where we’d be if politicians of all stripes had simply ignored health care for a century. We probably would have achieved “health care for all” without their help.

— John R. Graham is director of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute.