Implementation Timeline

April 7th, 2010

By Tom Carter

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has produced a handy implementation timeline for health care reform.

The first few years are devoted mostly to new taxes and other ways to raise money.  Among those other ways are taxes and fees on businesses that will be passed on to consumers, which in reality is just another kind of tax.

In addition to helping understand what’s going to happen, the timeline provides perhaps a better perspective on how complicated the whole thing is.  And just wait until the implementing bureaucracies get through writing the thousands of pages of necessary rules, regulations, and procedures.  The federal tax code will be light reading by comparison.

It’s clear that many members of Congress didn’t read and don’t fully understand the legislation they voted into law.  It’s also obvious that the President, salesman-in-chief for reform, doesn’t understand all of it in detail.  It’s no wonder that the average citizen is pretty much clueless.

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3 Responses to “Implementation Timeline”

  1. larry |

    If neither the president nor the congress know what they passed, then who wrote the law in question? Who assembled the over 1400 pages of this healthcare debacle? Isn’t it the job of our elected officials to write the laws as well as making them into law? To attempt to stave off political repercussions by pleading ignorance, is as the saying goes, no defense.
    I hope that the president paid better attention to what he was signing when he signed the START nuclear arms agreement with Russia.

  2. Brianna |

    They probably wrote the law in pieces, and had their aides and other staff write the pieces. They probably also had company representatives (insurance, pharma, etc) come in to help them draft it. They would have had to have representatives of the latter come in, not because of corruption even but because those would have been the only people with the necessary knowledge and expertise.

    It’s one of the evils of what our system has become, that it creates corruption through stages such as these. When government seeks to micromanage and run industry, they need the knowledge to do it. But they don’t have it, so they bring in lobbyists and advocates to draft the code. Those lobbyists and advocates draft the legislation in accordance with what they want; they’d be stupid not to. But the laws cause unintended consequences, as they always do, and so the process starts all over again as government drafts more legislation to slap on over the previous legislative band-aid, starting the cycle all over again.

    Worst of all is that nobody in the system is really behaving in a particularly corrupt manner. Even the lobbyists and advocates are really just doing it to survive and often all the people involved really do think they’re doing the best possible thing under the circumstances. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is just going to keep on happening until and unless we wake up and get a more accurate handle of what government IS and IS NOT supposed to do for us.

  3. Tom |

    Some members of Congress not only read the bill but knew it in detail, and others didn’t. Most bills are written by professional staffers of committees, with members involved to one degree or another in the drafting. Nothing wrong with that; that’s what the professional staff is there for. (As Brianna noted, lobbyists also get into the drafting sometimes.) But this one got so long and complicated that even reading it cover-to-cover wasn’t enough without all the references available, too.

    The final bill is reported to be over 2,400 pages long, but with the normal font sizes and spacing we’re accustomed to, it’s probably shorter. But the bigger problem is the complexity.

    And, of course, you can’t read the bill without reading the reconciliation bill, which made changes.

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