Monday, November 9, 2009

Long and Confusing Rules

Now that the House has passed a health care bill that it promises will fix the health care system once and for all, we should stop and think about the proper use of the law before we go any further.

The law was not made to manage the many fine threads of complex human relationships. Trying to fix the health care system with legislation is like trying to fix a spider web with the broad end of a broom.

Properly used, the law should define the general rules of the game, and no more. When it goes beyond that, when it attempts to legislate every contingency, it morphs into a 2,000 page bill which no one will read...until it is too late. Then the 2,000 page bill will spawn 20,000 pages of regulation, and what used to be an individual decision will become a hopelessly public one.

In such a world, life will be a Kafkaesque journey where the rules are so long and confusing that they might just as well be arbitrary. In such a world, more will be lost and destroyed than ever will be saved.

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