So what did I just sign?

Sci fi author and blogger Jerry Pournelle has some commonsense on the stimulus bill’s healthcare provisions:

Apparently there’s something in the stimulus bill that revamps health care. No one knows what it is. How any Senator can vote for something that’s as potentially revolutionary as this may be without understanding what he is voting for is way beyond me. That is the height of irresponsibility, and I mean that word quite literally. I think anyone of either party who votes for a critical change in the entire health care system without knowing what the change does should never be elected to any public office again.

Surely after all the market crashes we are no longer in such a hurry that we must Do Something, even if it means death to a lot of older people — which this change may accomplish by rationing health care. It may not do that; but I have been unable to find anyone who is sure. And that, I think, is frightening.

Is the the change we have been waiting for? If I sound a bit disturbed, I am: I am alive because I received prompt treatment for the brain lump. I couldn’t have afforded it had I not been a member of Kaiser. It literally saved my life. Now I am not sure what the health care provisions in the stimulus bill actually mean, nor do I automatically accept the interpretations of its enemies; but when I can’t find anyone who can tell me with any authority what is actually in the bill and what it actually accomplishes, it seems clear that it’s time to take that provision out of the bill and debate it separately.

Well said!  Before voting on this or any piece of legislation, legislators should be able to quote chapter and verse on it and should have a full understanding of what they’re doing.  Of course, that assumes that having studied and understood the content and implications of the legislation, the legislators would then vote using logic, reason, and wisdom.  That is by no means a foregone conclusion.  But at least while the legislators are studying the bill, enough of it would get out to the press and the blogosphere that a real public debate could take place.

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