President Bill Clinton has sent health care legislation to Capitol Hill that is breathtaking in its scope. He strikes a responsive chord with most Americans when he condemns the current system as bureaucratic and wasteful, and when he urges a comprehensive reform of the $1 trillion health system-accounting for about one-seventh of the entire U.S. economy-based on the principles of security, simplicity, savings, choice, quality, and personal responsibility.
But although Clinton has stressed the need for simplicity and freedom from bureaucracy, his legislation offers anything but that. The Administration followed a 239-page draft, leaked by Members of Congress in September 1993, with a 1,342-page bill, the "Health Security Act." Emerging from the complex language of this huge bill is a massive top-down, bureaucratic command-and-control system that would meticulously govern virtually every aspect of the delivery and the financing of health care services for the American people. As The Economist of London observes, "Not since Franklin Roosevelt's War Production Board has it been suggested that so large a part of the American economy should suddenly be brought under government control .