Thursday, December 24, 2009

Unpacking Legislation

The health care reform debate has resulted in a bill that is so big and so complicated that hardly anyone knows what is being debated anymore. Such bills are nothing new in our earmarkable pork-barreling political culture, and such bills are repugnant.

I propose the obvious solution: pass legislation in smaller chunks. If each bill to be voted on consisted of just one action instead of a thousand, congress could be working its way through the stack of healthcare policy issues piecemeal and have made lots of progress by now and a clear record of all the individual steps that have been achieved.

Supporters of heathcare reform often see the legislation package as the bridge to France, where everyone has free access to healthcare. I don't know if something like France's system is applicable in the US, but the thing I'm really confused about is why we can't just move in that direction one step at a time.

For example, rather than deciding on whether to make healthcare free to all, we could start with specific medical procedures. We could start with something like free (or subsidized) vaccinations for all, followed by free emergency-room care, followed by free appendix removals. As the list of free things increases, at some point maybe we could consider a bill that provides for a free federal health clinic system, a federal health franchise that operates in parallel to the private sector system and offers all of the free services.


Anonymous goodbadi said...


10:58 AM  
Anonymous dr perfection said...

the reason it cannot be accomplished in steps is because there are term limits on the legislators and they disagree as to what should be done

3:20 PM  

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