In several lectures on the recently passed healthcare reform bill, I never managed to get beyond page 1,287 out of the bill's close to 3,000 pages.
Try a truly streamlined approach
Given how often the bill requires that “The Secretary of HHS shall … ”, it is a safe bet that the hapless bureaucrats tasked with writing the regulations for the bill will collapse long before page 2,000, leaving much of the bill unimplemented.
It makes one sympathize with the GOP's idea of “repeal and replace.” The ideal replacement would be the streamlined Hatch-Bennett bill, shown here in its entirety. Although it is not known who actually sponsored this bill, rumor on Capitol Hill has it that it was hatched by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, both Utah Republicans—hence its name. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this bill would reduce U.S. health spending as a percentage of GDP below the comparable Canadian metric.
Not unexpectedly, the bill faces strong opposition from interest groups that book health spending as revenue and from the alcohol lobby.
Uwe Reinhardt is a professor of economics and public affairs and the James Madison professor of political economy at Princeton (N.J.) University.
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