Michael Tanner

Never underestimate the brilliance of our federal bureaucracy.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it must delay implementation of new reimbursement codes for Medicare. Those new regulations would have increased the total number of reimbursement codes from the current 18,000 to more than 140,000 separate codes. The delay will undoubtedly come as a relief for physicians who will have additional time to try to understand the bureaucratic complexity of rules that, for example, apply 36 different codes for treating a snake bite, depending on the type of snake, its geographical region, and whether the incident was accidental, intentional self-harm, assault, or undetermined. The new codes also thoroughly differentiate between nine different types of hang-gliding injuries, four different types of alligator attacks, and the important difference between injuries sustained by walking into a wall and those resulting from walking into a lamppost.

And Democrats wonder why Americans still resist having the government control our health care?

Less than a month before the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare, the American people have already reached their judgment. According to the latest USA Today poll, fully 75 percent of Americans believe the new health-care law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. And if the Court doesn’t throw Obamacare out, Americans want Congress to do so: Half of voters want the law repealed, compared to 44 percent who want it retained. Moreover, those who want it repealed feel much more intensely about it. Fully 32 percent “strongly support” repeal, compared to just 18 percent who “strongly oppose” it. This is consistent with other polls — for example, the latest Rasmussen poll has 53 percent of likely voters supporting repeal, with just 38 percent opposed — and virtually unchanged since the law passed.

[F]ully 75 percent of Americans believe the new health-care law's individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Despite constant predictions by the media and the laws supporters, Obamacare is not becoming more popular.

Michael Tanner

Michael D. Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, heading research into a variety of domestic policies with particular emphasis on health care reform, welfare policy, and Social Security. His most recent white paper, "Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law," provides a detailed examination of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and what it means to taxpayers, workers, physicians, and patients.