Political Quote of the Day

Maybe we should have started with you at the very beginning, talked to the physicians before they started writing a 2,000-plus-page bill that many of them [politicans] didn’t read, yet passed.”

Republican Rep. Scott Tipton, commenting about the Affordable Care Act during a House Small Business Committee meeting last week which showed how “physicians have reached a tipping point” due to overregulation by Congress and insurance companies.

Dr. Louis McIntyre does a very good job at putting things into perspective during the included video interview. Not bad for an orthopedist … ;-)


5 Responses to “Political Quote of the Day”

  1. Tyler Spicer says:

    Time to get real. Legislators who complain about the length of legislation or criticize other legislators for not reading bills are being completely disingenuous with you.

    The fact is, no bills are read cover to cover like one would read a novel. It’s just not how the process works. Legislators have staffers that monitor the entire process, tracking the language of the bill, reporting on what may go into or be taken out of the legislation during the committee process, etc. You may not like that system (I understand that impulse), but it’s how things are done. But when a legislator says “they didn’t read that,” they are being hypocrites and cynically manipulating a public that doesn’t know much about the process, plain and simple.

    As for the length of bills, legislation requires a very specific kind of technical writing that must leave as little as possible to, let’s say, “creative interpretation.”

    For instance, in order to, say, expand Medicaid eligibility, legislation wouldn’t (and can’t) just say, “More people shall be eligible for Medicaid.” Not how it works. Where is the funding coming from? What disqualifies an otherwise eligible recipient? Is eligibility tied to the Federal Poverty Line? What services are covered? What portion of funding are states responsible for? And so on. And on. And on.

    The more complicated a bill’s subject matter and/or the more provisions a bill has, the longer it will be–and rightly so. To write a 50 page bill that completely overhauls the nation’s health care system is not just bad legislating, it’s irresponsible legislating.

    You may not like the Affordable Care Act. Indeed I have many concerns myself. There are MANY legitimate problems with the law, but its length is not one of them.

  2. Ben Rush, MD says:

    Us Constitution and Bill of Rights is printed on six pages, Res ipsa loquitur.

  3. Tyler Spicer says:

    US Constitution and Bill of Rights outline broad political/philosophical principles, not complicated statute. Point taken, but the two are not comparable.

  4. Tyler Spicer says:

    It’s also worth pointing out that the Constitution is frequently debated and open to interpretation BECAUSE the wording is necessarily broad and non-specific. US statute, on the other hand, addresses complex policy matters, and its wording is reflected in that fact.

    And the point remains that legislators who make hay of a bill’s length are being disingenuous. The length of a piece of legislation has no bearing on its legitimacy.

  5. Kipper says:

    But…they could be consulting physicians *now*, and come up with an actual plan of some sort. Instead they just vote for repeal every other day, with no apparent interest in figuring out what should go in instead.

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