Health care bill: 2,000 pages of confusion

By Jena Johnson - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The focus of the health care reform debate is now in the Senate, since the House passed their version of a reform bill late Saturday night. And, countless people across the country, including East Texas, are baffled by what exactly the bill would mean for them.

At four inches thick and nearly 2,000 pages, it's heavy enough to work out with.

"Definitely makes a good paperweight," Jonathon Gray said.

But the real "weight" of all this paper is Congress' health care bill. 

"First of all most people aren't even going to take the time to look at it just by the mere size of it, I mean it's bigger than any dictionary I've ever seen," Gray said.

"It just kind of starts out and keeps going," Acevedo said.

As many East Texans pour over the pages, frustration settles in.

“It uses things like retirement income security act of 1974. I don't know what that means. I don't think anyone else would either," said Gray.

"I think they could have broke it down a little bit," Acevedo said.

“They could have used titles, they could have used summaries of what they're actually stating in the bulletins here," Gray said.

Many East Texans want to know when it will go into effect. People say they just don't have the time to sit down and read this.

"It would probably take me a year of seriously trying to read this," Gray said.

 Some spent hours researching the bill.

"It might be on Page 756, but it talks about going to Medicare," Bill Craig said.

Only to discover they had more questions than before.

"Like how is it supposed to help out the people? Because it's just saying little things and it doesn't tell you," Acevedo said. "My question is why couldn't they make it a little simpler? There's so much in here the average American, well you know...why is it so much?"

A complex issue that still has a long, complicated path ahead. The Kurth Memorial Library in Lufkin has two copies of the health care bill. Check with the library nearest you, to see if they have a copy you can peruse.

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