The proposed health care reform bill is longer than “War and Peace”? That’s what Sen. Orrin Hatch claims. And Rep. Roy Blunt. And Rep. Joe Barton. Etc. The AP looked into that matter and discovered that translated versions of “War and Peace” actually measure between 560,000 to 670,000, depending on the edition. The health care bill trails at 319,145.
It’s true that it’s the longest bill in 10 years and it would take a good typist 65 dreary hours to record it all, but it’s only 68 words longer than the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act sponsored by Alaska’s Don Young in 2005. I don’t recall that one being rolled down the capitol steps like toilet paper or tossed into the wind in front of the capitol. President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act measured 274,559 words.
Open Congress has a table of the largest of the last decade here.
Critics are suggesting that the health care bill is bad because it’s long. Health care costs take up a sixth of the economy. It doesn’t bother me at all that the reform bill can’t be read in a night. I think some thoroughness is in order. Besides, when the full draft was entered into the Congressional Record in the usual fashion, it came in at 209 pages. Nothing like Tolstoy.