After reading this article in the terrific Reason magazine, I have a gnawing fear: I may not be smart enough to fill out the forms if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is allowed to stand. I am not being humble. You may not be smart enough either, Gentle Reader. Mensa members will be throwing up their hands in despair.
Reason’s Peter Suderman notes:
I know that critics of the law have focused a fair amount of attention on the simple fact that most of the legislators voting for the law didn’t read it (though given the use of frequently-inscrutable legislative language, I’m not sure how much good that would have done). I know that Nancy Pelosi’s declaration that we’ll have to pass the law to find out what’s in it has become a mantra for those opposed. But even still, I suspect folks are underestimating the bureaucratic complexity involved in both the implementation stage and the eventual ongoing management of the subsidies, the insurer regulations, the Medicaid program, and the rest of the bureaucratic apparatus. As the Congressional Research Service reported over the summer, the law is so byzantine that it is impossible to estimate the number of new bureaucratic entities that will end up being created by the law. It’s a bureaucratic black hole: Who knows how deep it goes, or where it leads.
Suderman links to a piece on Russell Collier’s The Health Care Blog on how to apply for subsidies, and it is truly mind-boggling: It will take up to 25 pages of forms, and Collier provides a walk through what filling out the forms will entail. Worth a read if you are wavering on repeal. Whatever your situation, it’s going to be incomprehensible.