The Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, was “only” 906 pages long. A subsequent version of ObamaCare, passed by the U.S. Senate on 24 Dec. 09, was 2,409 pages long. Ain’t it funny how a bill grows as it becomes a law? That law spawned over twenty thousand pages of regulations and is being amended as this is being written.
I think that all will agree that there were some surprises in its final version. For example, remember in 2009 when Obama said, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what”? Technically he was correct, but…”You can keep that policy, but you may very well not want to,” said Linda Blumberg, a health economist at the Urban Institute. Another surprise: remember the “Employer Mandate”? In order to avoid ObamaCare’s two- to three-thousand-dollar-per-employee penalty for failing to offer qualifying health care coverage, companies offered coverage that did not cover X-rays, maternity care, or surgery as just one cost-cutting option to offset the additional expenses of ObamaCare.
Now we have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – all 1,648 pages of it. The bill was posted online at 2232 hrs. on Tuesday, 3 Dec. 14. It is scheduled to be voted on as early as Thursday, 5 Dec. 14. Got that? One thousand six hundred and forty-eight pages to read in two days. I don’t think that even Evelyn Wood could read that fast.
What surprises await us with this one? Well, as a taste of what is to come, there are two parts of this bill that have absolutely nothing to do with national defense.