Keeping Secrets from the People?

First, do YOU know exactly what’s IN the Ryan healthcare bill?

And I don’t mean what Ryan and his cronies have told us was included in the bill – and how the bill accomplished the repeal of the ACA (Obamacare) and replaced it with something measurably better. And I don’t mean the flowery rhetoric that President Trump uses to convince us that he’s looking out for us when he presses for its passage.

Do you KNOW?

If you KNOW, I’d like to know how you learned the details. Frankly, right now I’ve seen so many interpretations from so many sources (mostly untrustworthy sources) that I’m suspicious that it’s part of a conspiracy to keep us, the taxpaying citizens, in the dark about what we’re being expected to fund.

I don’t think that I do know and that troubles me. I have not seen a brief, concise, explanation of the bill and why we should accept it by anyone that I trust.

I’m satisfied that it doesn’t accomplish what we conservatives wanted or the Freedom Caucus would have welcomed and supported it. I think that I know more about what it doesn’t include than I know about what it does cover.

I’ve looked at several supposed summaries of the bill, including on Ryan’s own website and they’re not detailed enough to give me any real insight on what’s in the bill – mostly they just identify a problem and say they’ll fix it.

In the absence of a trusted summary of the bill, I took the route of last resort and found the actual text of the bill. It’s HERE if anyone else is interested in reading it (it’s a 66-page .pdf).

That’s when the truth slapped me upside my head. I’ve wasted time doing this before.

I’ve attempted to understand some proposed legislation by going to the source – the actual bill itself – and that is an exercise in futility. It’s not just that legislation is written in legally-specific language, the bills are the very essence of legal documents and they must describe (in minute detail) the hows and whys of everything that’s covered by the bill. I understand that.

But, I must say that it’s next to impossible for anyone outside of the legislative aides to actually make sense out of a bill like this one. It’s not lengthy; 66-pages is a thumbnail sketch compared to the original 2,700 pages of the ACA. The problem is paragraphs like this one:

1396r–4(f)) is amended—

11 (1) in paragraph (7)—

12 (A) in subparagraph (A)—

13 (i) in clause (i)—

14 (I) in the matter preceding sub-

15 clause (I), by striking ‘‘2025’’ and in-

16 serting ‘‘2019’’; and

17 (ii) in clause (ii)—

18 (I) in subclause (I), by adding

19 ‘‘and’’ at the end;

20 (II) in subclause (II), by striking

21 the semicolon at the end and inserting …

You get the drift. You can’t possibly interpret the text of the bill without having immediate availability to the verbiage that is being amended.

The aides who actually write legislation must have software that can allow them to logically (and instantaneously) follow all of the referenced linkage and maintain a continuous flow of thought.

Maybe you can do it, I can’t and I’m a reasonably intelligent guy. Frankly, I don’t think it’s possible for an individual to read a bill (even a tiny one like Ryan’s) and interpret the facts of what it will do and how it’ll be accomplished if you don’t also have access to and understand the portion(s) of other documents it references. That’s easy; you can’t.

So, how are we, the taxpayers and the people who will ultimately foot the bill for whatever our representative’s pass supposed to understand what our representatives and Senators are voting for or against?

One of the “benefits” of this excessive complication is that we, the people, are kept in the dark about exactly what the bill will do (or not do). We are forced to accept what our representative or someone in the media tells us. Perhaps years ago, when honesty was more common, that worked, but nowadays placing our trust in the media and even some of our “trusted” congresspersons is unwise.

This Ryan healthcare bill isn’t really a good example of my “conspiracy theory” because it’s a dinky little 66 pages – but the original ACA (Obamacare) bill is. How many of our members of Congress do you think READ all 2,700 pages of that bill (and understood the ramifications therein) before voting on it?

Remember when Nancy Pelosi told us that they’d have to pass it to find out what was in it? And she was right; there were a number of hidden “gotchas” in the ACA that no one caught until they were actually activated, in some cases, years later.

Even our president, the one individual that we always thought we could trust to tell us the truth, intentionally LIED directly to us – multiple times about the effect that the ACA would have on us.

My point is, we taxpayers need a source for learning what is contained in proposed legislation – in a close to conversational format – so we can be sure of our support for or opposition against it.

If you know of such a source, please note it here, I’d honestly like to have a reliable source for objective information about pending legislation.



Categories: Political


4 replies

  1. Good work, Garnet. You have enlightened us about our absence of enlightenment on the healthcare bill.

    This is why a full repeal is the way to go. One sentence that everyone can understand. It’s also why its so critical to know who people like Paul Ryan are. Paul Ryan has forgotten all about the Constitution, he’s accepted the concept of gov’t as nanny state and he just wants to make the numbers work. That last part is how he justifies calling himself a conservative, a consequence of his coming of age in congress under establishement Republicans who obsessed over balancing the budget instead of enforcing the Constitution (in which case our budget problems would have naturally gone away).


    • Ryan’s just an opportunist who dredged up a 2009 plan and put it out as new. Nevermind that it didn’t cover what most of the base wanted, it was an opportunity to push something through and get it passed quickly – or so he thought. And Trump apparently didn’t even question that it didn’t include items that the base has been clamoring for, in his haste to get something – anything – passed quickly, he threw his support behind Ryan’s warmed over plan. Big mistake.


  2. You make some great points Garnet, and after doing a quick review of the document, it’s obvious that whoever wrote this never took a class in constructive or compositional writing where you learn to put topics in a logical sequence making it easy for the reader to follow.

    One paragraph caught my eye and made me ask ‘huh?’ – “before such date and with respect to amounts expended after such date by such State for medical assistance for individuals described in such section, who are nonpregnant childless adults with respect to whom the State…” That’s too many suches and no substance.

    Page 11 begins a 5 page section detailing limitations on lottery winners – Seriously?? We’re talking about lottery winners in a federal healthcare bill?

    I noticed it was page 46 before I saw the word repeal, and then there was this gem that made me laugh –

    Since when has our government ever had any remaining funds?

    One thing is clear, and that is if Ryan had started with a new clean repeal bill, none of the changes from ‘if’ to ‘and’ would have been necessary. He needed one page to repeal it, followed by a proposed insurance policy of several pages. They forgot the KISS rule – keep it simple, stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great catch, Kathy! I intended to highlight that ridiculous 5-page section on “lottery winnings” but I’d gotten so verbose that I left it out. How stupid is that? Over SEVEN PERCENT of the healthcare bill was devoted to “lottery winnings”? And where was national availability? Missing.


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