John Stossel | The train wreck ahead

Consider just the complexity: The act itself is more than 906 pages long, and  again and again in those 906 pages are the words, “the Secretary shall  promulgate regulations …”

“Secretary” refers to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen  Sebelius. Her minions have been busy. They’ve already added 20,000 pages of  rules. They form a stack 7 feet high, and more are to come.

Our old health care system was already a bureaucratic and regulatory  nightmare. It had 16,000 different codes for different ailments. Under our new,  “improved” system, there will be more than a 100,000.

Government likes to think regulations can account for every possibility.  Injured at a chicken coop? The code for that will be Y9272. Fall at an art  gallery? That means you are a Y92250. There are three different codes for  walking into a lamppost — depending on how often you’ve walked into lampposts.  This is supposed to give government a more precise way to reimburse doctors for  treating people and alert us to surges in injuries that might inspire further  regulation.

On Government-Planned World, this makes sense. But it will be no more  successful than Soviet central planning.

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