Monday, November 02, 2009

Caren Explains the Healthcare Bill

Many Americans (including this one) have been wondering what $1 trillion in healthcare reform will get us... well, for starters, how about 1,990 pages of new legislation?

1,990 pages!? .

How many people have actually read this thing all the way through?

I picture Congressional aides gathering at lunch to form a reading group. One will take charge and assign an outline, like law students might with their required readings. Maybe they plan to put together a nice little book report at the end, hoping for a gold star?

In an ideal world, our representatives (as well as our fellow citizens) would sit down and read the bill themselves. This leads me to my second question: How long would it take to read the bill in its entirety, absent a reading group?

To figure that out, I wanted to compare its length against other notable works. To be fair, I'm listing the comparisons in book pages and/or PDF pages:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: 607 book pages (US hardcover); 397 PDF pages
  • War and Peace: 1,475 book pages (2006 paperback issue); 692 PDF pages
  • King James Bible: 1,824 book pages (Oxford University Press); 702 PDF pages
  • The Godfather screenplay: 124 PDF pages
  • H.R. 3162 (USA Patriot Act): 342 PDF pages
And finally, The Constitution of the United States: 19 PDF pages

Infer what you will, dear citizens.

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