Examiner: Put the Health Care Reform Bill Online, Now

An editorial in today’s D.C. Examiner reports:

[The] House Energy and Commerce Committee is dragging its feet on posting the final bill. When we called them yesterday morning to get a copy, we were told that the amended version might not be compiled until after the August recess. When we called back for an official comment, spokeswoman Lindsey Vidal gave us the slightly less jarring news that it would take at least two to three weeks, even though we live in an age of computer cut-and-paste.

Yes, more than 50 amendments were added and lawmakers made more than 123 pages of changes on Friday alone, some of them complex in nature. But unless it is being done in longhand, there is no reason not to post the text, amendments and all, immediately. Having millions of constituents reading it during the recess can only help clear up any misunderstandings about the bill’s content.

Well, there’s the 1,000-word summary hailing the bill’s wonderful benefits. That isn’t good enough?

To be fair to the Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee staff have done an excellent job documenting the day-to-day mark-up of the bill, with the proposed amendments and committee votes posted online. Thank you to the committee.

But the Examiner’s point is right. There are plenty of high-speed, high-volume scanners available in the House. The House managed to get the updated Waxman-Markey bill — including the 300 page, 3 a.m. amendment — online within a day after passage. (Yes, after passage, which is not good.) The point being, we have the technology. If America can build a $6 Million Man, doggone it, we can post a $1.6 trillion health care bill online.

Leave a Reply