Friday, November 6, 2009

Congress: Obfuscations are Us

Released in a meeting closed to the public, Nancy Pelosi's latest health care plan is a masterpiece of obfuscation. Nearly 2000 pages, all written in legalese – if a reader wants to know what one section means, he must go to a different section to see what special meaning is applied to the words, or what exceptions are built in. What does it really say? I don't pretend to know since I've not read the monstrosity. If I get lots of time and can find a copy on the web I'll try to read it. However I suspect part of the intent is to discourage citizens from reading it.

I have heard commentator claims about what it says. Medicare cutbacks. Reduction in the right to put money in a health savings account. Higher taxes (probably inevitable in any “reform” this congress is likely to pass). Costs heaped on business and individuals. The possibility of federal charges for anyone who refuses to buy insurance. Are those claims true? I suspect so but I'm not sure. I am sure that Pelosi and her cohorts became complicit in those claims by creating such an undecipherable monster. When nobody understands a bill it is inevitable that rumors will circulate. Some of those rumors will be true, some false.

Furthermore, if the past actions of Pelosi, Obama and Reid are any guide we can now expect to see a push for quick action before people have time to understand this bill. I do not believe they trust the people enough to let us know what it will mean. In fact Pelosi has now reneged on her promise to post it on line for 72 hours before any vote.

So much for the open government the democrats promised.

And all that brings up another question: What is the probability that any such health care legislation will actually work? It is well known in engineering that the more complicated a design, the less likely it is to actually function as intended. In one class I took the saying was, “if you can't explain how it works to a retarded five-year old you will never understand why it doesn't work at all.” The point was that all successful circuit designs are simple, or combinations of simple designs.*

That rule applies in life generally. Complexity is more useful for obscuring the issues than for reaching stated goals. That applies to government programs as much as anywhere else. The health care bills being proposed are all complex in the extreme. I cannot believe that any of them will actually work as advertised. And there is a huge disadvantage just because they are proposing a government program. An electronic circuit goes into production only after it is tested. In contrast, the test of the health care bill will come only when it is imposed on the citizens who will have no choice but to live with it.

The entire health care “reform,” as proposed by Pelosi, Reid et al, promises to be an expensive boondoggle. We must convince our representatives to oppose it.

*This has been somewhat modified in recent years as computer modeling of electronic circuits has become the norm. That allows problems to be identified before the actual circuit is constructed. However the human designer still works with relatively simple parts of the circuit. Unfortunately we have no such modeling programs available for government programs.

Postscript to the previous blog about big lies and the Obama administration: I've just read about how administration officials are equating pay raises to jobs saved. "If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job," The speaker was HHS spokesman Luis Rosero.

How any reasonable person could swallow that one is beyond me. The administration seems to be making a career out of telling big lies.

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1 comment:

Bobkatt said...

I don't know if you have noticed but just like the way "Global Warming" has basically been replaced by "Climate Change", "Health Care Reform" is being replaced by "Health Insurance Reform" in the current lexicon.