Thursday, December 3, 2009

A New Leviathan?

When is government too big? Americans will find out if the Senate health care bill passes. It will expand the already-huge Health and Human Services Department and give it vast new powers. Are Americans ready for this? As written, the Senate's 2,079-page health bill would make HHS, already by far the largest federal department in terms of spending, even more large and powerful. Even now, the HHS budget of more than $800 billion makes it one of the 15 largest economies in the world. It's that big. And the Senate, heedless of the old advice that bigger isn't better, is about to make it even bigger. According to Washington's scrappy, the Senate bill would grant HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sweeping new powers, "including the authority to decide what medical care should be covered by insurers as well as the terms and conditions of coverage and who should receive it." Health care analyst Devon Herrick of the National Center for Policy Analysis says this is no exaggeration: "The legislation lists 1,697 times where the secretary of health and human services is given the authority to create, determine or define things in the bill." more

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