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Rush to Bad Health By: Marion Edwyn Harrison, Esq.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, June 10, 2009

President Barack H. Obama, bright as he is, obviously does not believe that major decisions should be made without maximum period of time for deliberation, analysis of facts and alternatives, and clearer scrutiny of the problem.  Historical examples - and one’s own private, professional and business life - are replete with examples of the wisdom of due deliberation. At issue is his vast, ubiquitous, and complicated subject of American medical care. That the present American system is the most advanced and sophisticated on earth is not the by-product of haste.

The Obama public posture presently is to urge a massive revamp of our health-care system through federal law, to have final votes in both Houses of Congress before the August, 2009 recess and to have a bill signed into law no later than November.

The consensus of expert economic evaluation rounds off to 18 percent that portion of the economy relating directly or indirectly to health care. The proposal the president is pushing - shoving? - would equate to a cost estimated to exceed $1 trillion. The figure, whatever it ultimately may be, is extraordinary and incomprehensible, its risk aggravated by historically unprecedented federal government spending and national debt, coupled with a recession the future and severity of which is unknowable.

Expert analysts find that the so-called “reform” - what a normal Washington word, for any kind of proposal! - would be far and away the most extensive since 1965, when Medicare was enacted, a dubious legacy of the Lyndon Baines Johnson administration (if no other reason than the fact the system is facing economic collapse).

Long-term observation of the legislative process and a realistic touch in evaluating political implications form a useful background. They readily combine to remind us that when a proposal is, or is highly likely to be, costly, complicated and controversial, the quicker it can be run through the executive and legislative branches of the federal government the less likely objective study will shoot it down or materially amend it.     

Whatever the merits of legislation to “reform” our health care,  serious, scholarly and pragmatic evaluation, in an objective and unhurried tempo, is what we lawyers would term a sine quo non - in other words, essential.

Marion Edwyn Harrison is President of, and Counsel to, the Free Congress Foundation.

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