Tuesday, April 13, 2010

They are only reading it now 

As we have been writing for months, the most shocking thing about the just-passed health care "reform" law is that virtually nobody comprehensively understood its consequences to any meaningful degree. The latest evidence:

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

Asked and answered. We all knew the answer when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid worked their legerdemain, but the New York Times is only willing to say it now.

Read the whole thing to get a sense of the transporting stupidity of it all.


By Anonymous SouthernRoots, at Tue Apr 13, 08:51:00 AM:

But.... they didn't need to read the final bill - it was just a collection of legislation they had been working on for years that everyone had already had the chance to read....or something.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 13, 09:41:00 AM:

Health Care has been in dire straits in America for quite some time, as anyone who has ever had to deal with an insurance company, or read the Travelers case, or heard "Delay, Defer Deny" as a strategy knows. I think there might have been much more sympathy to the Republican position if they had bothered to do anything about it during their years, besides "Save up, you're on your own."  

By Blogger Buku, at Tue Apr 13, 09:56:00 AM:

9:41 AM.



By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Tue Apr 13, 10:31:00 AM:

This congress isn't fit to draft a set of "club rules" for a fracking treehouse.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 13, 03:13:00 PM:

Complete government control of the heath care system is a horrible idea, as anyone who has ever had to deal with a government Bureaucrat knows.  

By Blogger MTF, at Tue Apr 13, 03:52:00 PM:

Actually, they don't seem to be reading it at all. The article says they've asked the Congressional Research Service to read it, and the CRS is apparently having some trouble discerning the "intent of Congress" in interpreting some of the provisions. I take that as code for "you might want to rewrite this part post haste Madame Speaker". Anyway, out here in reality, I don't have a CRS to call on here in running my business so we poor subjects will just have to wait until the lords of Congress figure out what they meant.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Tue Apr 13, 06:50:00 PM:

The "fix" for this will ride the coat-tails of some other essential legislation.

Maintain vigilance and let's all be sure that this collection of tawdry whores gets the same run around with healthcare that they KNEW we all would get.

Poetic Justice, indeed.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 13, 07:33:00 PM:

JPMcT, I do not see the need to slam whores. That seems a rather straightforward business, while our current politics is not.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Apr 14, 06:55:00 AM:

You are correct, Anon...my apologies to all the "working girls"!  

By Anonymous Robert Arvanitis, at Wed Apr 14, 08:28:00 AM:

This is first order stupidity, a direct blunder through incoherent language.

Far more devastating are the stupidities of second and higher order. Government can never avoid rafts of unintended consequences whenever they act.

In 1974, they tried to make pensions more solvent by mandating "investment grade only" investing. But to define that, they entrenched the rating agencies as powerful yet unaccountable.

The bright line between junk and investment grade also fueled the arbitrage; THAT'S why bankers could bundle $100 of junk into 80 "triple A", 19 equity and still take $1 off the table...

And when the CDO process ran out of bonds, well Frank & Co. conveniently offered up subprimes for the sausage factory.

And by the way, if bank must have 8% equity against any and all assets, don't be surprised when banks buy the worst possible (fake) triple-As.

There is no end to the list of unintended consequences.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Wed Apr 14, 09:43:00 AM:

This is first order stupidity, a direct blunder through incoherent language.

Actually, the language is clear. What was missing is a process of gaming out the provisions of the legislation in test scenarios.

Legislation should be logically "tested" prior to enactment in a manner not unlike software is, because legislation is essentially software, it just doesn't run on a computer.

In fact I believe software QA people are probably the best qualified to do it because they're familiar with all the techniques needed to do it.

Lawyers can write words and they all think they're clever and good at crafting them, but they really have no clue about how those words fit together and operate on a large system basis.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Wed Apr 14, 10:31:00 AM:

I don't have the patience to study it, but I get this wariness inducing rent control in New York City vibe from Obamacare, i.e., wrecking the entire city (60s/70s New York) [health care system] so that some, however many undeserving and however many criminal along with the non-descript, can enjoy living well for free or very little. [Just to add, New York City is much improved, but still totally wrecked relative to what it could be because of the housing policies that are terrible even at what they ought to aspire to do, i.e., house lawful and hard working poor and middle income citizens.] And the wealthy are going to prosper even more relative to the poor and middle-income because of this misguided approach (as they do in New York City).  

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