As you should recall, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated that we needed to pass ObamaCare, or the so-called Affordable Care Act, in order to see what was in the bill, as we see in this Youtube video.
Of course, we would think that a better way to go about finding out what is in such a bill is to examine it and to consider the consequences of the various proposals within the legislation and their combined effects. I have written here, here, and here on various national health care proposals since Hilary Clinton’s proposals for national care in the early 1990s, discussing their likely consequences. However, we know that the bill was passed in such haste that almost no one read the entire bill.
One of the reasons for legislatures is supposed to be that they will study issues in ways that the ordinary citizen will not, that citizen-voters suffer from a problem known as “rational ignorance.”
Representatives are supposed to somewhat overcome this problem, as they specialize in studying various issues, and develop a comparative advantage in making such decisions on complex issues. Well, it looks as if these representatives sometimes defer to their staff members and do not look at these issues that closely, as they specialize in running elections and trading with their staffers for such deliberation.
Certainly some of the biggest supporters of President Obama and his policies, such as his national healthcare policy, were unions. However, it looks as if some of those labor groups are having second thoughts about the Affordable Care Act. Here is a story that Kris Maher recently posted on the Wall Street Journal’s blog. It seems as if there are certain aspects of the act that these labor unions desperately want to change.
Well, here we see how rational ignorance can lead to decisions that people are not happy with. It only goes to prove how right the writer and editor, H.L. Mencken, was when he quipped in A little book in C major, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”