Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

I was asked by To The Source to do a quick primer on the current health care bill.  Happy to oblige. I pointed out that policy holders could keep their “current” policies, but if the policy lapsed or was revised, any new policy would have to be government approved. I also noted that the bill does not push assisted suicide or euthanasia (in the sense of mercy killing), that there is a potential for health care rationing (Palin’s hyperbolic “death panels”), got a bit into the end of life counseling (now taken out of the Senate version, about which more later) and that Medicare would be impacted because partial payment for the plan comes at a cost of about $500 billion out of Medicare’s hide.  But I also address a point not often made in this debate—the real impact of the law would be up to the bureaucrats.  From the piece, “Much Ado About Something:”

There is one more important concern rarely mentioned in the debate about this complicated and mind-numbingly arcane bill. The legislation is only the general outlaine, the skeleton if you will—of what the remade American health care system would ultimately look like if the bill becomes law.  The flesh and blood would be created beneath the public radar by unelected bureaucrats in the federal departments and agencies through the promulgation of thousands of additional pages of rules and regulatins. Thus, whatever bill is ultimately passed, it will still be a pig in a poke. The devil, as they say, will be in the regulator details.

That is why it is foolish to pass a 1000+-page bill that is long on indecipherability as well as dead trees. We don’t want decisions that will legally impact so centrally on life, death, health, and welfare, left to unelected bureaucratic regulators.

Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles