Well, have we all been keeping up with the healthcare debate this week?
One of the more ludicrous statements came from John Boehner's office..."the bill is too small!!"
But of course, this is the same office that insisted that the bill last year was "too big!!"
I wonder what's it going to take for Congressman Goldilocks to have a bill that's "Just right?"
But the point here is that the system is so out of whack, it's going to take a big vision and lots of paperwork to change the monolith that is American Health Insurance.
How big is too big? Let's break this down a little bit.HR 3200
comes in at 1,017 pages..as broken down by Adobe Acrobat. That's actually not that big a deal, according to the way I reckon books. Comparing it to some well-known tomes, Tolstoy's "War and Peace" clocks in at around 1400 pages (in paperback), Hugo's "Les Miserable" comes in around 1700, and the lovely Ayn Rand brought home "Atlas Shrugged" at 1100 pages or so. Were these too long?
But that's fiction. How does healthcare reform compare to say....The Patriot Act? (HR 3162)
Well...that's only 362 pages.HR 3326
, last year's Defense Appropriations bill, was just 67 pages long. Maybe the Republicans are onto something here?
Or maybe they're just being obtuse.
As you well know, I spent 25 years in the healthcare industry before being shown the door last year. Back in 2003, there was much angst about implementing electronic healthcare claims transactions. While it's no longer available free online (so there's no link) the ANSI specifications for claims transactions was described by a former coworker as "800 pages of pure ANSI goodness". There's also an Electronic Remittance Advice spec that clocked in at about 700 pages. When congress mandated this back in 1996, we didn't bat an eyelash. Sure, there were years of delay, but it eventually went through.
By whining that the bill is too big, or the bill is too small...what are the Republicans really doing? I'm starting to read this as a lack of intellect. Hard things require much debate, and yes...a lot of words to accomplish. The Republican plan
comes in at 219 pages. (no, I didn't read it.)
So...is this the "just right" Congressman Boehner is after? (of course he wrote the bill.)
I'm kinda not buying this big/small argument. I don't think it's the bills that got big; it's the Republicans that are thinking too small.