August 23, 2009

Where's the Environmental Impact Statement on Health Care?


"An environmental impact statement (EIS) under United States environmental law, is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act for federal government for ps3 users agency actions "significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."[1]

It's difficult to think of a "policy" more likely to impact "the quality of the human environment" than the current behemoth of a bill before the congress. We've had press conferences and postings, meetings and punditocracy without number. We've not seen the background documents used to create this legislation except in a few leaked memos. Nor have we seen a summation of those documents except in a few descriptions offered by the President or the boosters of the bill in speeches or declarations. These are inadequate. There's another way; an extant process. One that the government is already set up to produce....

Andrew Garland in a comment at neo-neocon makes a fair and sensible suggestion:

The government demands detailed, researched s before starting a building. We should have Official Policy Impact Statements before our representatives change our society.
We need proposed results, expected evolution, methods, justifications, comparative studies, past successes of similar policy, funding sources, expected difficulties, the works.
I hope people of all parties and positions could agree that this is fundamental. It is non-partisan to demand that the President and all politicians show how they have carefully researched their proposals.
It is not our job to read tea leaves and pick apart 1000 page bills written in Old English to figure out what the bills are really saying. The whole idea of "legislative language" is to obscure what is going on. Whatever I extract or infer, I am drawing my own conclusions, and the government can say that I am misguided.
Did Obama (or any politician) start with such a policy study, or not?
If so, then where is it? If not, then he is a fool.

Garland has more thoughts about this at Easy Opinions Outlink: A Few Words About Policy

Posted by Vanderleun at August 23, 2009 9:36 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Great point. Even just looking at the numbers in a clinical way, as the CBO does, is enough to blow holes in most legislation. And they must be so wanting to hobble the CBO...

Posted by: Brett_McS at August 24, 2009 3:40 AM

It's a good thought, but an EIS is not required under NEPA. Take a look at the full blog post here:

Posted by: Kristen at August 24, 2009 8:04 AM