Thursday September 28, 2017
A Republican state senator whom I very much admired once told me that all legislation should be made slowly. Procedure and transparency in legislating are as important as content. Sufficient time must be provided for all legislators to review proposals. Hearings are needed so interested and affected citizens and organizations can have input. Drafts need to be submitted for evaluation by appropriate governmental agencies, the private business sector, professional associations, academia and public service organizations. Assuming the drafters are not infallible, time for revision based on the contributions of others must be provided.
President Barack Obama held a televised health care summit with Republican legislators on Feb. 25, 2010, in preparation for the Affordable Care Act. The bill was debated in three House committees and two Senate committees and was subject to hours of bipartisan debate that allowed for the introduction of amendments.
Republicans in Washington today want to get it done fast rather than right. They should heed this advice. Health care legislation affects every citizen and one sixth of our economy. This is not how laws are made well.
Editor's note: Frank is a former Reading resident.
Don't rush to pass health care legislation