The ACA talking points past their sell-by date



Aaron Carroll has them over at The Incidental Economist. These are arguments being made outside the blog space, so think comment threads, town halls, etc. My favorite:

While we’re at it, can we stop with the 2700 pages thing, too? Here’s a link to the law, and it’s 906 pages. The If you go to, and click on their version of the law, you’ll find a version that is 974 pages. What’s the difference? It contains parts of the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” I don’t know what 2700 pages was. Maybe they formatted it in a crazy way. Maybe it was the bill, and included lots of stuff that got eliminated. I don’t know. But it’s not right, and it would be nice to see it go away.

One popular addition to the above criticism is to compare it to the word count in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. It makes perfect sense, of course. The ACA is bad and super long to read and our founding documents are much shorter and freedom rocks so…yeah. How anyone ever thought, or continues to think, that the number of pages in a bill is indicative of policy merit is beyond me.


2 responses to “The ACA talking points past their sell-by date

  1. I think the idea was that it’s length indicated its complexity, indicated its inelegance. But, yeah: proudly announcing your ignorance of the ACA as evidence of its inadequacy, while proposing no realistic alternatives, is stupid.

    • Certainly there’s an argument that complexity can speak to the merit of legislation — one I probably wouldn’t take seriously if you’re specifically seeking to regulate our current health care system. However, I would take that infinitely more seriously than…any number over X pages = bad idea.

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