Boehner: White House Plan is Too ShortFebruary 23, 2010 - by Donny Shaw
A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner today ridiculed President Obama’s health care proposal because it’s too short.
"The White House’s ‘plan’ consists of an 11-page outline, which has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office or posted online as legislative text. So they want to reorganize one-sixth of the United States’ economy with a document shorter than a comic book, and they’re complaining that they can’t find our plan on their own website? C’mon," said the spokesman, Michael Steel, in an email to reporters.
So, obviously, this is ironic because for months the Republicans have been complaining that Congress’ health care plans are too long. But what is really ridiculous here is that the White House plan that was released yesterday is not a bill, and it only deals with a small portion of the health care bills in Congress. If it was written as a bill instead of the more friendly, plain English outline it is, it would probably be somewhere between the lengths of the Senate and House health care bills. And those, of course, are “too long.”
Plus, the White House’s choice to release an outline rather than a new bill makes it much easier to incorporate any new Republican ideas that come out of the summit this week.
What this really illustrates is that, even though the health care bills in Congress are long documents, if you distill them down into plain English and describe each provision, they end up being a very reasonable length. We saw this with the Senate bill also, which was written in pal English before it was marked up into legalese. The plain English version was 223 pages long, but when it was translated into an actual legislative language it turned into more than 2,000 pages. Nothing new was added, it’s just the fact that bills are written differently than texts that are designed to be read by people.