The Affordable Care Act is back in the headlines this week. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the law…again. Once again it is looking like Chief Justice Roberts (or possibly Kennedy) will be the key to whether the law stands or not. And he was very quiet this week at the hearing, which makes everybody nervous.
So you’re probably asking why I titled the post, “Irony”. Other than an inside joke from Moorwatch, it applies to the fact that Nancy Pelosi’s words are coming back to haunt her. You see, back in 2010, Nancy Pelosi was trying to get Congressmen to vote for “Obamacare”. But Democrats were being questioned on what was actually in the law at the time, and some of them were getting pretty testy about it. In an interview, Pelosi now famously said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy.”
So taking her words into account, Obamacare as passed was 425,116 words long (nevermind for the moment the over 2 million words that the Administration has added to it in regulations since its passage). And nobody really understood what those almost half-million words really meant at the time it was passed. And now just a very few of those words may be the entire law’s undoing.
This is why it is imperative that we have legislators in Congress who read, and understand the laws they are voting for. It is unconscionable to me that anyone would ever vote for a law that they didn’t fully understand. These things affect millions of people’s lives. I would support limits on the length a bill can be so that we do not have “omnibus” spending bills, or laws that can’t be read until they are passed. There should be no more “earmarks” ever.
On a personal note – the “Affordable Care Act” has been anything but in my life. I am sure it has helped many people (at the expense of someone, somewhere paying more in taxes – nothing is “free”). I have gone from pretty decent health insurance four years ago to absolutely terrible coverage through my employer, and less options. I really hope this is not the end-game for Democrats in Washington – to make Healthcare so lousy, and expensive that they are “forced” to step in with a single-payer system.