What does the bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, HR3962, short-titled the ‘‘Affordable Health Care for America Act,” actually say about major health-care issues? I here pose a few commonsense questions, cite some relevant passages, and offer a few brief comments. (The bill is available at http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf.)

This bill is 1,990 pages of mind-numbing legalese. It will reach deeply into federal and state regulations and laws, on a scale that will require years for experts to interpret. It will establish institutions that will be effectively irreversible. It will grant arbitrary powers to bureaucrats, who will have to interpret and enforce its dictates. A full analysis of its impact would require a commentary at least as long as the bill itself. American citizens cannot be expected to read and understand such legislation. But they should be aware that this is the nature of the laws being written by their (alleged) representatives in Washington.

I have only touched on pieces of the bill here. I have not considered the establishment of (1) the “Health Choices Commissioner” and the associated bureaucracy; (2) the “Health Insurance Exchange,” (a government-mandated insurance scheme to control all insurance activity); (3) the so-called “Public Health Insurance Option,” or similar provisions. I have not analyzed the more than one hundred new committees, boards, commissions, and bureaucratic institutions that it establishes (but I have listed them below under the section titled Special Note).

This legislation empowers the executive branch, namely the Secretary of Health and Human Services and a “Health Choices Commissioner,” to write thousands of pages of regulations, and to force Americans to comply with them. For every line in this bill, many pages of regulations will be written. As a result, the bureaucracy will expand, the final cost will be many times more than the original estimates—and the impact on American medicine will be devastating.

The overall result of this bill, if enacted, will be a complete government takeover of the health-care industry. This cannot be prevented by tweaking the language in the bill. The bill must be rejected in full before we can consider proper reforms to American medicine. . . .

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