Ignorance is bliss!
But see (hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4)....

I found and downloaded the entire text of HR 3200 here.

At least, I downloaded one version of it; I understand that there are different versions with different amendments. Mine runs 1017 pages and I haven't had time to read it. It's not an easy read; especially because it's loaded with language like this (from my page 424):

6 (a) MEDICARE.--
7 (1) IN GENERAL.--Section 1861 of the Social
8 Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) is amended--
9 (A) in subsection (s)(2)--
10 (i) by striking ''and'' at the end of
11 subparagraph (DD);
12 (ii) by adding ''and'' at the end of
13 subparagraph (EE); and
14 (iii) by adding at the end the fol15
lowing new subparagraph:
16 ''(FF) advance care planning consultation (as
17 defined in subsection (hhh)(1));''; and
18 (B) by adding at the end the following new
19 subsection:
20 ''Advance Care Planning Consultation
21 ''(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the
22 term 'advance care planning consultation' means a con
23 sultation between the individual and a practitioner de
24 scribed in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning,
25 if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years.
As there is no way to read that kind of garbage without looking up other laws and other paragraphs in other kinds of garbage, reading it is pretty much a waste of time.

It's almost as if they've come up with something which was never designed to be read, except later by the salaried bureaucrats who wrote it -- and whose job it will be to enforce it. The latter write the laws, and politicians who vote to enact these laws are not really making the law in the sense that the Constitution requires; they are doing as they are told.

Earlier, Glenn Reynolds linked a piece by Obama supporter and former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who recently underwent major heart surgery, and who is (as he puts it) "Falling Out of Love with Barack Obama." Koch has expensive health insurance which covered him, but he worries about the future under Obamacare:

Most alarming for people like me, who at 84 years of age recently needed a quadruple bypass and aortic valve replacement, are the pronouncements of President Obama's appointee, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who, according to a New York Post op ed article by Betsy McCauley, former Lt. Governor of the State of New York, stated, "Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, 'as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others' (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008)." He also stated, "...communitarianism' should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those 'who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens...An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.' (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96). "

Opponents of Obama's health care proposals raise the specter of a panel making decisions on who should receive health care. I am not aware of any proposed panel. However, an article in today's New York Times, referring to a Senate bill, stated, "The legislation could have significant implications for individuals who have bought coverage on their own. Their policies might be exempted from the new standards, but the coverage might not be viable for long because insurers could not add benefits or enroll additional people in noncompliant policies."

So, where lies the truth? I don't know. But I do know that I want the continued right to purchase and have available insurance that will permit me, no matter my age and physical condition, to purchase with my own money all the medical care I can afford.

Where lies the truth? I don't think they want Ed Koch or anyone else to know. And the best way for them to go about this is by not reading it themselves.

I finally understand why the Congressmen who are pushing HR3200 have not read it, and have come up with something unreadable. It's quite deliberate.

If people could actually read it, they might learn too much. If they learned that a new cancer drug would not be available, or that their father's heart surgery would not be covered, millions and millions of ordinary people would be outraged and up in arms, and it would be very bitterly personal, like Mike Sola, the guy whose son has cerebral palsy and who learned he wouldn't be covered.

As things stand now, most of the bill's opponents are people who are philosophically opposed to overnment health care, or else they're smart enough to realize where this is headed and don't trust the government.

Dealing with that is bad enough, but it's why they want to keep the numbers to a minimum, and I think it explains why the rest are being deliberately kept in the dark with unread, unreadable legislation.

BOTTOM LINE: HR 3200 is not meant to be read. Not by Congress, and certainly not by people. It is simply written by its enforcers. Our new ruling class.

MORE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post -- and also for linking TallDave's post on the courage to do nothing.

A warm welcome to all. Your comments are appreciated -- agree or disagree.

posted by Eric on 08.11.09 at 06:39 PM


You think they could put hyperlinks in there or something that would lead to the mentioned section of the current code, and show the changes that would be made.

Greg   ·  August 11, 2009 7:39 PM

Now that's a great point I had never thought of.

Why does that remind me of the Roman Catholic Church in the dark ages?

They had the Bible in Latin and nobody could read it but the clergy. You had to trust your betters to tell you how to live.

When the Bible was translated and people got to read it for themselves, well, katy bar the door cuz here comes Henry VIII, Luther, Calvin et al.

Our political, social, intellectual and moral betters don't want to make the same mistake. They know what we need better than we do, bless our angry, Nazi, little hearts.

Veeshir   ·  August 11, 2009 7:56 PM

I have disagree with you on this one.

I think this beast CAN be read. I've read a good chunk of this bill, and done the work of following the references back to the original citation (i.e., Section 1859 blah blah of the Social Security Act, etc.). Of course, I'm a research scientist, so I do this kind of stuff for a living.

With that said, I am not an attorney. I think it would take an attorney to understand all the nuances of the proposed legislation. As an educated citizen, I CAN get a general sense of the individual proposals represented by specific sections and their potential implications.

Even with that limited understanding, however, this thing scares the beejeezus out of me.

NO government should have this much power over the lives and well-being of their citizens. I certainly am not willing to cede this kind of authority to the federal government, especially one with the animus against dissent that this one has demonstrated lately.

Oscar   ·  August 12, 2009 9:10 AM

Why in the world is the bill in PDF format? It should be HTML and each little item should link to the law that is being amended with before and after versions for comparison.

Scott   ·  August 12, 2009 10:56 AM

Its actually considerably worse than that.

Once the general framework is in place, its going to "evolve". It will be the professional bureaucrats and lawyers vs. the citizens. Death by a thousand cuts. We will lose.

All the worst aspects that have been scaring people will gradually be implemented. I would fully expect to see Palin's "death boards" within a generation. Of course, they will be called something else - Resource Management Councils, etc.

For a model, look at the public school system in any large urban area. Tons of money spent, lots of bureaucracy, disastrous results, run for the benefits of the unions, no choice for the consumers. In fact, the unions and bureaucracy go out of their way to subvert any alternatives.

I expect there will also be some separate elite system - we can't have the families of members of congress in the public schools / public health care lines, can we?

This is all just obvious.

The people who advocate this are either idealistic fools or the worst kind of power-grabbing statists. I think most of the Obama administration and congressmen fall into the second category.

Dont Tread on Me   ·  August 12, 2009 11:04 AM

I think we have seen the end of any advancement in medical technology--procedures, drugs, etc. There will be no need for any further development, since there will be no profit in it, and very, very few in Ezekiel Emanuel's "15-40 age for receiving health care" paradigm need any care at all. New and exotic procedures or drugs require sometimes billions to develop, and I don't see that happening under this proposed system.

So this is it. What we have now, is probably all we will ever have. What a damn shame...

Greg   ·  August 12, 2009 11:54 AM

Illinois statutes are using a format similar to Word's change-tracking feature, in which strike-throughs and color highlights are used to display the original bills which are being edited by the new legislation. This makes the meaning clear and the changes easy to interpret.

What if a conservative lawmaker proposed that the same format be used when writing all federal legislation?

marty   ·  August 12, 2009 11:55 AM

"like Mike Sola, the guy whose son has cerebral palsy and who learned he wouldn't be covered. "

Mike Sola didn't "learn" anything. He stood up in public and gave an uninformed rant using his disabled son as a prop. He should be ashamed.

Where in any of the bills currently in process does it say that cerebral palsy won't be covered?

The fact is that the reforms being proposed are pretty weak, but even so the right wing opposes it. The status quo is just wonderful. Oh, and since we lost some elections, the government should be abolished.


franglosaxon   ·  August 12, 2009 11:58 AM


There's a much better place to get the full text of any bill, without worrying that it's an old or mangled copy: The Library of Congress' THOMAS database.


Michael Heinz   ·  August 12, 2009 12:08 PM

The fact is that the reforms being proposed are pretty weak

Um, how would you know?

Note that you give no evidence for this. Want to take a guess as to why?

status quo is just wonderful.

If it is so bad, where are the 10's of millions of "uninsured" demanding "free" health care? Further, why doesn't Obama go to Canada for a physical? Why do rich people from all over the world come to America seeing medical treatment when they are seriously ill?

Don't worry, you can't answer.

Oh, and since we lost some elections, the government should be abolished.

You, just like the President you voted for, love attacking strawmen, don't you?
Want to take a guess as to why?

The Ace   ·  August 12, 2009 12:28 PM

This is exactly the technique adopted by the European Union for its Constitutional Treaty. They wrote it all out neatly, so that even though it was a bit dull, you could read it and understand it. So people did, and were appalled. When they put it to a referendum in France and the Netherlands it was rejected. (Most European governments successfully avoided calling a referendum - damn unreliable creatures these voters.)

So the EU completely rewrote it, but in "insert xyz into clause 47(i)(b)" format, some of the more honest politiians actually admitting that the whole point was to make it incomprehensible. A clearly worded treaty had offered too much of a soft target to critics and they weren't going to make that mistake again.

But the substance of the redraft was, give or take a dotted i or crossed t, identical in effect to the original. So then they announced that because it was now just an "amending" treaty rather than a "constitutional" treaty they would bring it in anyway, without any referendum.

The Irish, however, had to have a referendum because their Supreme Court said so. And the Irish voted it down again. But having produced the wrong answer, the Irish have been told to have another go at getting the right one. So they're having another referendum in October.

If you worried about the future of the US, in terms of the relationship between the governors and the governed, you don't need a crystal ball. Just look across the Atlantic, where you will be able to read your own future.

Lee Moore   ·  August 12, 2009 12:28 PM

Just because you can't read it, doesn't mean it's not readable...

Cougian   ·  August 12, 2009 12:51 PM

No funds shall be used for pork roasting within any federal facility except in accord with the provisions of 3.7(b)(2)

Notwithstanding the language in 12.14(f)(4), pork roasting is approved in any amount, anywhere.

Andrew_M_Garland   ·  August 12, 2009 12:54 PM

"... they are doing as they are told. "

Exactly. Not too long ago, Congressmen were called "lawmakers". Now we hear that of course they didn't read it - it'd take two days and two lawyers to understand it.

If those guys - who are supposed to be lawmakers - can't understand it, they really ought to find another job.

Maybe we'll help them do that next election.

Another thing: the "debate" on this issue is getting to be exactly like the "debate" on "climate change". It's turned from an argument about facts (or lack thereof) into a purely emotional one - one involving Nazis and terrorists.

You'd almost think the Left is doing all this on purpose, to keep us occupied - this has become our "bread and circuses" - and keep our minds off the real thing. Whatever that is.

There's a simple rule that everybody - including Congress and the Seante - ought to follow: if you don't understand it, vote NO.

ZZMike   ·  August 12, 2009 1:07 PM

Use OpenCongress to markup the bill! Why more people don't use this site is a mystery to me.


monty   ·  August 12, 2009 1:14 PM

Use OpenCongress to markup the bill! Why more people don't use this site is a mystery to me.


Anonymous   ·  August 12, 2009 2:32 PM

Please email the following to your congressional representatives:
I am requesting that you sponsor the following amendment to the health care bill.

If you cannot support the below amendment then you cannot in good conscious vote to approve this bill.



This health care plan does not look so good when YOU and YOUR FAMILY are forced to live by the same rules you are planning to force on the rest of us.

Bryan   ·  August 12, 2009 2:49 PM

The supposed small employer exemption really is $200,000 (and below), and between $200,000 and $400,00, it is only a declining partial exemption.

Note that those dollar amounts are aggregate wages.
Not profits or net income or anything else that would reasonably define a small business. So a startup
or new business with even a couple of well paid employees would likely not be exempt.

9 (1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of any employer
10 who is a small employer for any calendar year, sub
11 section (a) shall be applied by substituting the appli
12 cable percentage determined in accordance with the
13 following table for ‘‘8 percent’’: If the annual payroll of such employer for the preceding calendar year:

The applicable percentage is:
Does not exceed $250,000 ..................................... 0 percent
Exceeds $250,000, but does not exceed $300,000 2 percent
Exceeds $300,000, but does not exceed $350,000 4 percent
Exceeds $350,000, but does not exceed $400,000 6 percent

14 (2) SMALL EMPLOYER.—For purposes of this
15 subsection, the term ‘‘small employer’’ means any
16 employer for any calendar year if the annual payroll
17 of such employer for the preceding calendar year
18 does not exceed $400,000.

19 (3) ANNUAL PAYROLL.—For purposes of this
20 paragraph, the term ‘‘annual payroll’’ means, with
21 respect to any employer for any calendar year, the
VerDate Nov 24 2008 23:22 Jul 14, 2009 Jkt 079200 PO 00000 Frm 00150 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 E:\BILLS\H3200.IH H3200 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with BILLS
•HR 3200 IH
1 aggregate wages paid by the employer during such
2 calendar year.

ManekiNeko   ·  August 12, 2009 3:42 PM

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