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The Goal Is Freedom: Let’s Ignore Congress

November 6th, 2009

From FEE

I spent a good part of Wednesday night closely skimming — my conscience won’t let me type “reading” — the Republicans’ alternative healthcare “reform” bill. It’s 219 pages of legalese. I know it’s one-tenth the size of Speaker Pelosi’s bill, but that doesn’t make for easier navigation. Figuring out how it all would work is no easy task, and I don’t claim to have done it. At least the bill appears to legalize the purchase of insurance across state lines and does not contain an individual or employer mandate.

It does promise to lower the cost of medical insurance. Maybe it would, but with Medicare driving up prices and shifting costs to non-Medicare patients, I doubt it. Others have pointed out that belief in government is like belief in magic. No need to wonder how it will achieve some glorious purpose. The mere expression of its will is enough to make it happen. I think of Yul Brynner as Ramses II in The Ten Commandments: “So it is written, so it shall be done.”

In keeping with the magic theme, the titles of legislation look like incantations. The Republican bill is called the Common Sense Health Care Reform and Affordability Act (pdf). I wondered what the acronym would be, then realized that CSHCRA is not pronounceable. (Pelosi’s AHCA [Affordable Health Care for America Act] isn’t much better.) I guess the title shop in Congress couldn’t come with anything as clever as the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act) or the HEALTHCOURT Act (Health Care Over Use Reform Today), a malpractice overhaul bill.

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