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October 8th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Post health care bill online 72 hours before Congress votes?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In an attempt to make sure health care reform doesn't get rammed through Congress with little debate - a group of Senate Republicans has introduced a resolution requiring all bills be made public for at least 72 hours before a vote.

Not a bad idea. Since many in Congress don't read the bills before voting, maybe somebody should.

Over in the House, a group of more than 180 - mostly Republicans - is circulating a petition also requiring all bills to be posted online for three days. They're demanding the Democratic leadership schedule a vote on this. No vote so far, although Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to post the final health care bill online 72 hours before the last vote.

But it's not just Republicans pushing for more transparency. A group of centrist Senate Democrats sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid this week saying "every step of the process needs to be transparent" - they also asked for three days for the public to look at this stuff on the internet.

There's also an online campaign called Read the Bill along with a group called Read to Vote that's collected more than 80,000 signatures asking lawmakers to promise to read every page of every bill before voting. That'll happen...

Democratic Congressman Brian Baird of Washington put it this way, "there's a pattern here, the more important the bill, the more complicated it is, the less time we have to read it."

Some Democrats point out the same thing happened under Republican control. Maybe so... but it was President Obama, not Bush, who promised more transparency once he was running things. Remember?

Here’s my question to you: Should health care legislation be posted online for 72 hours before Congress votes on it?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sylvia from California writes:
Let me see: Pres. Obama promised that his administration would be one of transparency. "You lie" is appropriate. It never seems to amaze me how gullible the American people are and how desperate they are to believe that Washington will be forthright and honest.

Alejandro writes:
If Republican senators wanted the bill posted for people to read, there wouldn't be a problem. The reason they want the bill posted for 72 hours is to allow private insurance companies to read it and tell them whether to vote for or against it. It's the sad part of American politics; it's what's best for lobbyists, not the American public.

Sandra from North Carolina writes:
I don't know, Jack. It sounds like a good idea, but I'm worried it will be just like advertising prescription drugs. Too much information can create more confusion and misunderstandings... maybe that's what the Republicans have in mind.

Tom from North Carolina writes:
Jack, The only reason I can see not to put bills on line for 3 days is: there must be something to hide.

Dan from Louisville, Kentucky writes:
Seriously, have you ever really tried to read actual legislation, and understand it? 1,000 pages of it? I'll read it if some non-partisan entity like the CBO reads it and writes a 20 page "Executive Summary" of the bill. Most legislation, like insurance policies, are designed to prevent the average person from understanding what they mean.

Ed writes:
Be careful how you word it, they may instead vote on the bills before they're written, arguing it was not available for posting.

Ray writes:
Hey Jack. If these guys are so into transparency, don't you think they should all wear shirts showing where their money comes from? Like the drivers for NASCAR. Then we will know who they are speaking for.


Filed under: Congress • Health care
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Lisa, San Jose CA

    I think 72 hours is not enough to read, digest, and respond intelligently to a bill of over 1000 pages. How about 96 hours? That gives time for people to comment to their congresscritters and for the congresscritters' staffs to at least skim the comments to find any pertinent grains among the chaff.

    October 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  2. Adem jemal

    The question is does it make any difference? The answer is no because republicans as well as democrats have already make their mind; however, the republicans have been looking for some sort of destruction desperately for the last few months. On the other hand, the democrats have been extremely disorganized and they are putting president Obama on a very difficult position. Therefore, If the democrats fail to pass the bill with public option on it, they will face tough time to get reconnected with their constituency , and republican are very good at ceasing the opportunity. That's why politics is dirty.

    October 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  3. Carla Martin-Wood, AL

    I believe in transparency in all legislation - and I am a very liberal Democrat. I also believe that if we can get these bills posted online, they should be written in straight-up, easy to understand English. This is theoretically a government of the people, by the people, for the people - but we, The People, rarely know what's going on. And it appears, neither do our Congressmen, who admit to voting pro or con without reading the legislation. If we did this, we would have far fewer bridges to nowhere thrown in to appease this or that congressman. And it's less likely that bills favoring insurance companies instead of human beings would make it through. One thing I'd tell the Republicans who ask for this - be careful what you wish for.

    October 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  4. Don

    Why bother, They most likely will not read it anyway,You can lead a Horse to water but you cannot make him drink, Most of them are only concerned with the section they contributed to a Bill and could care less what else is in it.

    October 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  5. Carl D.

    Jack,
    The answer is yes, the healthcare plan should be posted online. Having said that, I truly feel these corrupt idiots will vote the way there paying lobbist want them to vote.

    October 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  6. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Funny-I don't recall Republicans clamoring to get bills put online for 72 hours during the BUSH administration. Do you?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  7. Bruk

    jack i actually like the idea.The problem is the republican brought this up not because they care about us the tax payers but to delay reform.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  8. William Joseph Miller, Los Angeles

    How many people are going to want to read 1,000 pages in 72 hours. That's about the length of the health reform bill. Even then, the blowhards on the right wing would lie and fib about what's in the bill, just like they claimed that women would be force to have abortions – etc.

    Putting the bill on line might be a good idea, but I am fed up with the snail's pace at which congress moves. Too many Congressmen and women are spending too much time having 3 martini lunches with lobbyists rather than tending to the public business. What ever happened to the work ethic? Nancy Pelosi is the only person who knows how to get things done. The GOP and the Blue Dog Democrats in the Senate are the laziest "dogs" on the planet.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  9. Gigi

    What good would that do except cause trouble by those who like to stir up controversy, there is no way we the people can change anything. Except to to wake up and vote out those you don't agree with. That should have been done last November 4. And we the people...most don't care to understand all the ups and downs of the legal jabbering of a bill written by lawyers. All Seventy two hours does is give the Republicans more time to kill health care for the middle and lower classes. If congress hasn't read it yet , they probably have already pocketed the money and can't change their vote.

    Wow! I sound as cynical as Jack.

    Oregon

    October 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  10. Sylvain

    Do we have to vote for them too? They can't negotiate, they can't agree, they can't read.. We might as well get rid of this muppet show.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  11. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Heck yes all bills should be posted. These are not the president's bills, congress's bills, these are our bills, America's bills.

    Plus, how else would we get the opportunity to witness the follies of the fringe groups, the extremists, and special interest groups, as they misinterpret, exaggerate, and outright lie that gives us all so much entertainment on the news channels.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  12. Lori - PA

    For something this important, the legislation should be posted for a week. It would give Congress, and the American people, time to read it, and to ask questions. It's the least the American people deserve.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  13. Ron in Tupelo

    And Congress wonders why its job approval remains so low, regardless which party is in power. Obama needs to send his pit bull Rahm Emanuel over there and crack some heads. Obama promised transparency and he needs to deliver.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  14. Dennis from Seattle

    Let's end this health care debate. Put the Public option out there, 72 hours in advance. Let the public read it, and have a special vote. Since our lazy, arguing, blaming, not approving anything Congress and Senate can't agree let the public.
    Have a special vote, if the majority of the public votes for it, PASS IT, End of story. I'm tired of all this wasted time and money these idiots are spending on this. The majority of Americans want it, Period.
    No PUBLIC option, No change, it's all smoke and mirrors.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  15. Dawn in Vermont

    Jack,

    Yes, the healthcare reform legislation shuold be posted online. Maybe everyone would have time to consider the ramifications.

    Mandatory healthcare insurance is the worst idea ever conceived for every American other than the insurance companies. It is taxation without representation because once it is implemented, every American will have to pay whatever amount insurance companies decide they need to make a “modest profit.” Insurance companies do not provide healthcare. They do not examine patients, perform surgery, provide drugs or produce medical equipment. Insurance companies just gather the money, rake off their share, then divvy up the rest to pay a portion (that they determine) of the medical bills submitted by hospitals, doctors, or pharmacies.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  16. Mark

    Why? Nobody without a law degree would be able to understand it anyway.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  17. Dot Williams

    What is wrong with this administration? Why are we partisan if we disagree with the White House views? what happened to free speech?
    Where are our jobs that the President promised?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  18. Mike Armstrong TX.

    It dosnt matter if they post it three years two months and 15 days from now it wont pass.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  19. Charles H. Fremont, Indiana

    Yes.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  20. shawn boles

    Not only should be posted on-line for 72 hours. Also, what politicians are for and against the bill. So Americans know who is standing in the way of whats best for the United States of America.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  21. Raoul New Orleans, La

    All legislation should be posted on line when it is submitted to Congress. Why is there such a outcry for this issue? Someone's trying to make health care President Obama's Waterloo (more like his Dien Bien Phu). These are tactics in a war of attrition. Attack health care reform with everything else other than reforming HMO's.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  22. Pugas-AZ

    How about 72 days. This much time would probably be required to wade through it. Maybe we could have Nancy Polosi read it to us as a bedtime story. Oops, it would probably be too scary and might scar us all for life.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  23. jo, houston, TX

    Of course they should post it, this is America!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  24. Tim Shropshire

    Dang Right, They Should!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  25. Kim Kansas City

    Obviously this seems like a logical request...which probably means the leaders in the House won't acknowledge it.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  26. Molly Harper

    Absolutely, it should be posted, although the legislators will vote based on whose pocket they are in, so the opinion of the public will mean nothing – once again.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  27. Scott

    Heck YES! The Democrats need to finally practice what they preach. There has been no transparency with the new administration, just like there has been no positive change. The only thing that is different is the unemployment rate and the deficit. Both have gotten so much worse.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  28. anthony c

    Dear President Obama

    You promised 5 days.
    You Promised openness.
    You Promised transparency.

    You need to tell both the senate and house to open this up to the public when it's complete.

    If you don't, how can we believe this is not "MORE OF THE SAME"

    Anthony C

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  29. Johnny AZ

    Sure they should be posted online 72 before, you know cause we're all speed readers.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  30. Travis L.

    Yes Jack, This is a terrific idea. Pres. Obama promised more transparency and this is the perfect way to demonstrate that promise. I myself am curious as to what the Bill contains.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  31. Amina Peterson, Hawaii

    I expect these senators and representatives are able to do what any high school, college or graduate student is expected to do at a good school. I went to private schools, where reading 1100 pages was an easy week. How about we start voting for more intelligent leaders and vote out the ones who claim reading this much is interfering with their job. THIS IS THEIR JOB!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  32. ed

    Yes I think they should post it up and I think it should always be available for anyone to read so you find out the facts for yourself rather than trying to figure who actually has their facts straight about the bill.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  33. Ralph

    No. I think the legislature is slow enough as it is - we don't need another impediment to getting bills passed. Post it online, but don't delay the vote.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  34. Steve

    Will it really make a difference? The right-wing nuts will still complain about government take-overs, death panels, and immigration coverage–all of which don't actually exist. "Moderate" Democratic Senators will continue to vote based on their own political agendas rather than what's best for the country. Whether or not the bill is posted, it won't change the outcome of whether or not it's passed.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  35. Lilarose in Bandon, OR

    Yes, post bills online!

    AND post them in newspapers and on television and on the radio.

    WHO decides which media Congressional bills should be posted on?

    What should we do when technology surpasses the internet?

    I think Congress has rules about posting bills prior to votes, and these rules have worked since Congress was founded.

    Let's stick to the tried and true!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  36. Buzz in Solvang, CA

    You forgot to mention one thing Jack. The repubs who want this are doing this because it would take weeks to get the entire bill posted after all amendments, and changes are made.

    THAT is the real point. To keep delaying and delaying every bill the democrats want.

    Besides where was all this when the thugs were in control and I can guarandamtee you that if they get back in power the first vote thugs do will be to rescind that post all bills for 3 days.

    THE FIRST.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  37. Jerry Mael

    Well, of course.
    President Obama may have a lot on his 'plate'. It is time do some eating.

    Jerry Mael
    Hardin, MO

    October 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  38. Joseph McReynolds

    YES! Transparency is a cornerstone of our democracy and sunlight is the best disinfectant. We need to shine sunlight into all the dark corners of Congress.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  39. Mary Remington

    Yes, post the bills. Most won't read it but I'd like to read it at least to weed out false statements made by those who don't support the bill. I've actually looked at some bills. They are long but a lot of the issue is there are not a lot of words on a page. Most people don't realize that point.
    Cut out the pork and we could save some paper too.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  40. Jan from NJ

    I love the idea and am surprised that I do since it is a Republican idea.
    I am retired and have time to read these things. It would give me time to comment to my legislator which I do often already. Now, if I could only get my legislator to pay attention !!!!!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  41. linda in dallas

    Yes.

    The reasons to post the bill far outweigh the reasons not to. If you have nothing to hide, why not?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  42. Zeke in Weed, NM

    You bet your sweet bippy they should Jack. That's why I voted for Barack Obama. He promised us that's what he would do...post Bills on the Internet. Now that he's in office, it's a whole new ballgame, and I'm not going to be voting for him in 2012 unless this Bill is online for ALL of us to see. It's time for Prez-O to put his money where his mouth is.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  43. Ms. Hala Abdoun

    Even though I don't think 72 hours is enough to read such a lengthy bill, I say post it so that no one can claim ignorance as an excuse. Hopefully, this will also once and for all stop the ridiculous nonsense that has evolved from this.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  44. chris

    American citizens have the responsability and right even in
    a "representative democracy" to have easy access to details on major legislation- after all it is almost always the Devil that is in the details right! let the light shine in.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  45. danny

    Absolutely not, this is just another stall tactic by the GOP, the party that opposes everything and hopes to keep Pres. Obama from having any legislative success.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  46. Jeff Meyers

    I think the idea is a good one. Like you say, there is no way one person can read all of the bill. That is why Senators and Representatives have staffers who parse these out and send summaries with notes on the bill to their boss highlighting what they need to know.
    Ths bills should be smaller. But the lawyers would lose money.
    Jeff.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  47. Ted Lewis

    Jack-

    Should the bills be posted 72 hours in advance. Probably they should. On the other hand, why bother? The Republicant Liars are ready to vote "No" as a block no matter what the President supports. They are out of power and will use all of the "Rovian" tactics they can to get back in regardless of the damage that they do. A party led by the likes of Rush Limbaugh is not worthy of any consideration.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  48. Ruben

    This was a promise made, yet to be fulfilled. YES! by all means, @ least someone will have time to read the bills and can shame the pols on Reddit or Utube.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  49. jeff in hawaii

    Jack,

    What's an extra 3 days when the final bill, if passed, won't even go into effect until 2013? You know congress won't be able to resist tinkering with it in the three years after it is passed.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  50. TJ WILLIAMS

    I'm all for transparency...but in the interest of full disclosure I want to know about all the Lobbyists, donations and gifts to Congress members who are on committees making decisions about Healthcare. We average Americans no longer feel they are representing our interest. If the Bill gets 72 hours...so should all the nefarious backroom deals.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  51. intellect

    yes i think they should post it 72 hrs how about a week jack could you tell me why we are smashing a rocket into the moon and we have all our problems here on earth were wasting money

    October 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  52. mark Sinko

    At least enough time to really read it.
    Every bill is different, the longer and more complicated the bill the longer they should post it before the vote.
    Eventually,with this kind of scrutiny, they'll have to write it in English.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  53. Tom Chicago

    Yes, definitely. We have waited for 9 months for them to play around with it, we, and the other legislators should have a few days to review it before it is voted on. If the people can read it then maybe they wont be so likely to believe all of the lies that will be spread about it's content.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  54. David Harrell

    72 hours? Sure, and include relevent campaign contributions every representative voting on the bill receives from lobbyists at the bottom.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  55. cheryl

    why? it sounds like a good idea on paper. but since none of the republicans are planning on voting for the bill. it's just the same old noise.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  56. Ken in NC

    Many will not understand the legal terms being used in the bill so their understanding of the bill will me marginal at the least. I think 3 days is ample time. One can D/L the text and then read it at his or her own pace.

    To much time should not be given because Republicans would then use that time to stir up the natives again that don't understand the bill with falsifications and lies about the bill.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY

    Jack,

    With all deference to those Congressmen preaching transparency, how about out representatives first doing the following: post on-line all special interest monies received, as well as their current salary, stipends,perks and their out-of-pocket health care expenses.
    I would like to know just how better off these " servants of the people" are than the people who sent them to Washington.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Mark in Arkansas

    Jack, it's not important that WE read it. It's more important that Congress read it, and they don't. Bills before Congress should be limited to 5,000 words.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Michael n Seattle

    sinnce I have read every bill available what difference does it make that I don't have a vote on it. but it seems that out congress people can't understand anything more complex than my pet goat why bother wasting more time

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Tracy

    Absolutely! Not only should Obama be held to his promise of transparency, it would actually help Congress in the long run. Constituents can't very well complain about legislation afterward when they had a chance to read and comment about it. Plus, members of Congress are actually supposed to vote according to the people who elected them, aren't they?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  61. RantsRaven

    I agree with the "Read the Bill" philosophy, and believe that bills should be reviewed not just 72 hours before congress votes on it, but before the COMMITTEES vote on them, while they're still in their early stages.

    This kind of review is exactly what made people realize that language in a Kill Acorn bill would essentially result in most major contractors being de-funded, and exposed the unconstitutionality of singling out one establishment. I especially enjoyed "Read the Stimulus," which helped me better understand the Recovery Act during its development. Making bills available for review and comment is about as ideal a form of interactive government as one could get.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  62. Lee H.

    If a Congressman or Senator can't or doesn't read a bill, they should just say "No".

    October 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Lisa

    Yes Jack!!! Duh!! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if they won't post it online they are hiding something. This is the most irresponsible congress that I can remember in history. My fear is that these are all made up numbers and the plan is really not defecit neutral and god forbid if the american people saw what they are going to be taxed on and have taken away all in the name of healthcare reform. This is a JOKE. I bet after this plan is effect for a few years it will have cost more than ever predicted. GET RID OF EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF CONGRESS. And yes the President did promise transparency so he needs grow a BACKBONE!! Does it sound like I'm mad? Darn right I am!!!!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  64. Scott Jensen

    Can anyone but a speed reader read over a 1,000 pages in 72 hours??? Come on. The world will not come to an end if you give us at least two weeks. We first need to read it. We also need those at think tanks read it and try to figure out what it actually means and then let us the public know what they think it means. Then we need time to think about that and communicate our thoughts to our Congresspersons.

    And the idea that lawmakers are voting on bills they haven't even read should be criminal!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  65. Ron K

    Absolutely ALL bills should be posted online for at least 72 hours before the vote. That's a minimum for transparency as well as removing any excuse for legislators NOT reading all bills before voting on them. What happened to all the transparency promised by the president during his speeches as a candidate. And what is the problem with giving the PEOPLE an opportunity to express views, pro or con, on ANY legislation. Isn't that our 1st Amendment right?

    Wisconsin

    October 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  66. Connie

    Just another effort at delay just like before the August recess . I guess we all remember what happened then .

    October 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  67. Chuck

    At least it's a start. I can see 1100 people reading one page and posting their comments and opinions.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  68. Nick

    I do not think it should be up for 3 days before Congress votes. I think it should be posted online at minimum 7 days before a vote.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  69. Frank Lin

    Absolutely, health care legislation should be posted online for (at least) 72 hours before Congress votes on it.

    A great idea!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  70. John D

    Jack: I think that we should hold politicians to their word. Campaign promises must be kept. If they are not kept, then all candidates can just lie their way into winning elections. By the way, I say "lie", but do not mean "you lie". I really mean "keep your word and promises". What do we have to hide? Thus, post the bill for 72 hours. All of us will not read it. Some of us will read parts of it. A few will read all of it. That's democracy and transparency. Isn't that what Obama promised? SNL has it right. Obama has not delivered. I personally think that he is all show and no substance. People are getting tired of the "rock star". We want jobs, and security. He has not delivered. That's why his poll numbers are dropping.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  71. Judy from RI

    Hi Jack,
    Of course a bill with this enormous impact should be read by every American. However, I do believe that these knuckleheads in congress will do everything they can to prevent this from happening. The last thing they want is for us to know the "real" content of this healthcare bill.
    Judy from Rhode Island

    October 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  72. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    "Any" legislation should be posted at least 72 hours before a vote is taken. This would give some, if little, time for citizens to verbally or twitterly (?) hammer their representatives to vote the will of the people.
    This performance (or not) by our precious representative will be watched this time for certain.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  73. bijoux mi

    Jack, there is nothing wrong with posting bills online but I get a feeling the republicans are trying to slow things down as much as they can hoping to bring it to a slow halt at a certain point.I say get the job done after all it has taken them 40 years to get to this point.how many poeple do you think will read this lengthy bills online anyways.this is just delay delay tactics as in tom delay.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  74. Steven

    It won't matter if it is or is not posted. #1- the republicans will just lie about it !!! #2- The democrats will claim it is the answer to all our problems, also lying about it !!!! # 3 the drug and health care corporations will laugh themselves silly at their victory party. The lobbies for both have paid for this legislation and they will be the only ones taken care of by the forthcoming legislation !!!!!
    Steve, in Taos, New Mexico

    October 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  75. Doit Aul

    YES, YES.....

    October 8, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  76. Dawn (Anchorage, AK)

    Absolutely they should be posted. It is imperative in having transparent government that these bills be posted, however I believe they should be posted prior to 72 hours, perhaps 96 or even more with a three day viewing period and then an additiional day for public comment, after all, it should be the public's final vote.

    I'm trying not to be cynical and it's a bit hard but I truly believe there are those few that really do care about public opinion and vote accordingly.

    I have read some of the other comments and believe some may be surprised at how many people will actually take the time to read or even glance at the proposed bills because it is now easily accessible.

    Final answer - 72 hours is fine but add an additional 24 to the end of that for public comment.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment,

    October 8, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  77. Alejandro

    If Republican Senators wanted the bill posted for people to read, there wouldn't be a problem. The reason they want the bill posted for 72 hours is to allow private insurance companies to read it and tell them whether to vote for or against it. It's the sad part of American politics; it's what's best for lobbyists, not the American public. Companies who have made a profit from people's illnesses all this time shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion over this.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  78. Richard Dease

    I wold like to try and read this bill. I realize I can have no influence on it's outcome, but as a concerned citizen, I am interested on just how ludicrous it probably is... If it gets posted up, I will read it.........

    October 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  79. PinKee

    Yes I agree with placing the bill and all others online so they can be read before votes are taken. And to also be correct that the bill being read is the final draft. But one may need more than 72 hours to read these bills. I would like to know just exactly what I am voting ( Who I elect to represent) on for " We The People "

    October 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  80. Bob

    Come on Jack what good would it do. If we all read it what can we do about anything? Better to require each politican to sign off they have read it, if not they don't get to vote. If they sign off and cannot answer questions about it they should be punished (and not re-elected). BUT this is american 2 party poiticals where the Republicans disagree with everything the Democrats say and visa versa. Result Nothing gets done. Just have to love American politics.....

    October 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  81. JT

    Absolutely! I don't understand why bills are discussed forever and then needed to be voted upon so quicky-without the congresss or the people knowing what really is in the bill

    TRANSPARENCY is long overdue

    October 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  82. lynne from NC

    What a politcal ploy and the Democrats are falling right into the trap. Does the word, 'idiot' apply here? If you're going to do this for health care legislation why not for ALL LEGISLATION? No wait, that won't work because if the Republicans get back in the majority they'll repeal it for sure to keep those in the public that pay attention dumb and ignorant because they 'know' what is good for us and We, the People, whom employ them, don't.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  83. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    The answer is "Yes" and I would also take it one step further. The only thing that kept me honest to read what I was supposed to in high school was the possibility of a random surprise quiz on it the next day which affected my grade.

    Every member of Congress should also get surprise quizes on the bills that they are supposed to read from an independent and non-partisan source and if they fail, then they should not be allowed to vote on that bill. Their names should also be announced to the country to embarrass them and so that it can be used against them the next time they are on the ballot. That should keep them honest!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  84. tim

    72 hours is not nearly enough time to read between the lines of all the leagal terms used. but hey what did we think would happen when we keep electing lawyers. we shoud amend the constitution to make them (lawyers) unable to hold political office.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  85. Brian from Scottsdale, AZ

    Not posting it suggests that those politicians pushing so hard for this bill are hiding something. The stimulus bill once passed was loaded with billions of 'OUR' dollars in Pork. That hasn't worked as our politicians promised. Transparency?? Just another lie to get the vote.
    This isn't change we can believe in, its changing what I have believed in!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  86. Carl

    As a means to mollify the public? Sure, great!
    As a practical matter? Not much use, I think, what with the method ( I forget the legal term for it ), whereby a lawmaker will make a vote publicly, then immediately turn around and secretly negate it.
    What's the use?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  87. Nancy, Tennessee

    The Internet is a wonderful tool, but if someone had come up with some major points and posted that, it would make more sense. Wading through the legal jargon is not for the masses. I would rather see an outline of the major points with some bullets describing what is included. We could then have time to digest the bill in 72 hours instead of the indigestion the full bill is sure to cause.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  88. jim Blevins

    I know of nothing that has been so thoroughly debated as health care - surely there have been millions of man hours spent discussing health care. It is time that congress get a single bill together for a final vote. We don't need more steps in the process - they are just an attempt to sideline health care. Pelosi giving a 72 hour review period for the final bill is great, but we need to streamline the process to get there, not add more encumbrance.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    October 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  89. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Jack, this has nothing to do with transparity or the lack of. This is clearly just another stalling tactic by the Republicans and some of their idiotic Democratic counterparts to put every obstacle they can find in the way of passage of a healthcare bill. Do they think that the public is really that stupid not to know what they're trying to pull? This should definitely not be posted online, or it will give the opposition even more time to spread their lies and misinformation! I sure don't recall the Republicans wanting their bills to be posted online when Bush was in power, do you?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  90. leslie form new york

    its simple – of course! what is there to hide?!? in fact the longer the better so people can digest what is proposed for THEM and let their reps know their feelings on the matter. by the way i dont believe govt should become a "charity organization" collecting billions in dollars and doling it out – too much lining of their own pockets, corruption, buying of votes etc. it does no good to anyone's soul. better left to the individuals to give to those in need – much better for everyones soul!!!!!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  91. Aaron S. - Dallas, TX

    Sure, why not? A lot of us will be interested in seeing what was proposed and how our lives would be affected by it, win or lose. That doesn't mean that we actually have any influence over its fate, but we can at least take the blindfold off and look at the guns while the firing squad takes aim.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  92. Tim in Omaha

    Jack- We could get 72 or a 172 hours, the fact is if Congress doesn't read it does it matter? We the People are treated like the "present" that the first dog left on Airforce 1!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  93. mitch robinson pembroke pines, fl

    i think its a great idea to post bills online. its true many people wont read it but, thats just the way people are. i can't tell you that i will read all 1100 pages but, at least we can get some understanding about what is going on in washignton. its important for people to be given this chance to educate themselves, especially on such an important issue.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  94. Claire McLaughlin

    Yes the heath care bill should be posted on line. Since our Representatives admit they don't read the bills, we should at least be able to see how they are going to change our lives. I believe Obama ran on transparency wouldn't it be nice if we had some. I have to assume Congress is afraid to let the people read this bill and voice there opinion.
    Claire
    Eastern Shore, Maryland

    October 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  95. Forrest C. James

    The congress needs to get it's act together, represent the public and learn to read. The problem, now, is that we havea bunch of uneducated and uncaring people in congress. Heaven forbid if they are required to know what they are voting on. probably the present trend is to vote only on those items that the lobbyists are interested and vote the the lobbyiists' preference.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  96. Mark Cordell

    Yes Jack they should have to have transparency and we should be able to see how everyone votes with no excuses so that we know exactly how to vote when elections come around.They have allowed this country to fall in a hole that may take us forever to get out of and we may never recover.How do you tell a country that has been a manufacturing country for many years that the jobs are gone and may never come back.But,yet they bail out the banks and insurance companies that are not putting that money back in the economy and now this after taking peoples homes and incomes and I believe the some where are asking to raise taxes and fining Americans.Yes we want to know just how they vote.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  97. Moe Highland Village tx

    Some noted earlier that it would require a law degree to understand it if it was put on line.. I feel most , if not all with Law Degrees wouldn't understand it..

    October 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  98. Kingsley

    Even if you give congress 2 weeks to read the bill, those that won't read the bill won't read them. Some senators spend more time´ranting on cable news than they spend in their offices. They only just need time for lobbyist to fight the bills.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  99. Randald K. Bartlett

    Only ones that won`t to be relected should. I will not reect anyone to congress, or the house.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  100. Stephan in Budd Lake, NJ.

    Here's an idea Jack, let's cut out the middle man! Forget congress voting! Post the bill for 2 weeks online and allow the american people to vote for what THEY want, instead of lobbyists controlling what happens in congress.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  101. Lee

    I cannot believe the audacity of the democrats, thinking the citizens of this nation have no right to know what they are putting into this health care bill that will impact every one of us in such a personal way. Posting it on line 72 hours before the congress votes on it is such a small courtesy.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  102. Mike

    Republicans are executing a Jihad against health care reform initiative. They will go as far as busting the table of the president before he signs it into a law, a modern version of Julius Caesar.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  103. Sally

    As a registered Republican, soon to be Independent, I have become increasingly disenchanted with Congress members of both parties. Posting bills online for 72 hours prior to voting will not, in my opinion make any difference at all. There were Town Hall meeting all across this country where citizens (barring the crazy) stressed to members of Congress, his/her concerns regarding health care reform, etc. Arlen Spector brushed comments off as "I don't think this is the opinion of the majority of the American people." If hearing concerns with thier own ears doesn't mean a hoot, why would and email sent from a citizen following perusal of a proposed bill mean anything?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  104. Anthony

    We the people given the right to be able to read a bill that will affect all of us and change the country as we know it. It is clear to us no matter what party you are with, they will vote the way they want to vote. American people no longer have representation in our government. If you don't see this now you never will. I am sure the bill is written in a way that no one will be able to even understand it.This bill will be contested and fought over for years to come. There is no way that health care can be free to anyone. Someone will have to pay. That someone will always be the middle class and we all know it, what the bill says and what it is going to do is going to be two different things. Should we be surprised by this? I think not....

    October 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  105. TrueWhy

    Nothing is more important to the people of this country, whom which it belongs to(us the people) then being part of the process which keeps it running. To view bills on line 72 hrs. before votes is great. Yet posting the 1100 page bill on Healthcare to me is a stall. Who will actually read the bill all the way threw, not to mention the questions the american people will have after reading it, which will take much more then 3 days to answer. Not bad Republicans what a way to stall on a issue so important to the people of this country

    October 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  106. John C

    This should have been the first thing that the President did. He said he would. Instead he pushed through "Porkulus" closed Gitmo but not really. There is no change in Washington. We were hoodwinked.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  107. Dennis North Carolina

    sure as long as it is the only stalling tactic by the republicans. they have already wasted five months which i hope the voters remember next November.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  108. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, the real lunacy comes from the fact that the USA has TWO levels of obstinacy that a Bill has to go through. This leads to legislation that becomes incredibly diluted and has to be bought to get passage by handing out 'projects' to varied constituencies!!! The level of obfuscation has reached a paranoiac level!!!
    Three days is a good idea but is being pushed for the wrong reason – not to inform but to raise hysteria which promotes obfuscation by the political cowardice passing as today's leadership.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  109. Kristine

    A definite yes. I have always believed bills should be posted for everyone to read before voting on. I can't believe that anyone would think its a bad idea. What does it matter if the Republicans weren't clamoring to post it during the Bush Presidency. We the people deserve to get the opportunity to read this bills.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  110. Jerry

    No, They should just drop it and go on to some meaningful legislation, Like Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, that way people could payfor their own healthcare.They are just going to make a massive permanent change in our health care, that will cost us more {those who are going to pay for it} and put a massive tax on all America for only 11% of America's Population. Think of that 829 Billion dollars for only 11% of the population.And those who are happy with their health care now, whats in it for them higher taxes and higher insurance payments. I would not trust anything this congress or senate comes up with. Toss the Bill in the garbage. We got a lot more to worry about that this.Like our people in Afaganistan. Jerry/ Iowa

    October 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  111. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    What difference does it make. If there is no public option then Health inurance/care reform is a joke. We will get what the Health care Mafia pays for in Congress.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  112. chris

    I hate to say it, but what's the point. Have you ever tried to read a regular bill that comes out of the house or senate? Its written in such a way that you have to be an expert lawyer or have a degree in hieroglyphics to really understand what its try to say. Somebody needs to tell them put it into "Laymen's Terms".

    October 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  113. Ray Hall

    Hey Jack,
    If these guys are so into transparency don't you think they should all wear shirts showing where their money comes from. Like the drivers for Nascar. Then we will know who they are speaking for.

    Ray

    October 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  114. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    It would be a good idea for voters to have a peek at it so we can give input to our congress person(s). Most likely less than 1/10 of 1% of registered voters will read any bill.

    • Your comment about Obama’s promise of transparency can not apply to congress. They do not work for him. They work for us. His promise applies only to the Whitehouse and his administration.

    Please clear that point up. There are too many people already that don’t understand the power of the POTUS / CIC.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  115. Paul Meade

    72 hours does not seem to be enough time for a 1100 page bill.
    Hopefully more members of Congress will be able to read and study
    (during the 72 hours) the bill before voting on it.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  116. Ballard Powell

    Its an excellence ideal to place bills online before Congress votes on them, but most Americans read them. However, this would resolve disputes about what is or isn't in bills providing people can understand the legal language contained therein.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  117. george charles paree

    I ;like to read it andsee for myself what this moron of a president wants I dont trust washington at all. george paree anderson in.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  118. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, I've often wondered whether members of Congress actually read any bills themselves. Don't they hire people to do that for them? But to answer your question, yes, bills should be posted for three days before any are voted on.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  119. robert buggs

    Well, DUH! It just seems to me that this is what we ask these so called representatives to do; tell us like it is without posturing. I live within the Beltway and I pray everday that Congress gets it–talk to the people.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  120. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Have you ever read legal text! We cannot expect Bills to be written in a different and simpler language! The transparency needed is a neutral body writting what will this Bill mean according to different scenario of individual situation because let's face it even republicans will not read it. At least the citizens would get a neutral picture of the Bill since a new Bill is usually written and passed to increase rights protection, security and stability in the citizens life!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  121. Chad from Los Angeles

    This idea is about 15 years late! This should have been law right after Internet became available.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  122. noni

    Yes Jack we the people should be allowed to see all bills ,before they are voted on , the crooks , have taken us before and , it's time to see how bad these bills are, I heard that navada, rhode island and two other states will be exempt from paying taxeson their insurence , now don't that take the cake, thank you noni

    October 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  123. T.Thomas Abilene Tx.

    Why in the world does it matter what the average American thinks? The Republicans should be demanding that their health care industry handlers know and approve the proposals.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  124. Frank Nardo Cape Coral FL

    Absolutely !! but even if it does get posted will any politician be receptive to "we the people" afterwards? Not a pray! They have already formulated their votes regardless of what we their employers think.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  125. Brian Smith PhD

    Here is the lesson Jack. Seventy two hours or not, the reason why any legislation gets "jammed" through Congress is the REAL writers of the legislation don't want the fine print exposed. In this case we all know darn well the lobbyists for the insurance companies have written this law in such a manner that they win. We lose. Seventy two hours is not the fix. Disallowing lobbyist intervention is the cure.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  126. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Please say it isn't so that there are those in Washington only asking for 72 hours before voting on healthcare reform. After all the TV ads for and against healthcare reform, the political posturing, tea parties and other venues that have taken place over the past several months now we find they only need 72 hours before they vote. We've been had and they've been paid.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  127. chris

    nice idea but i like it but all we can do is read it not vote on it while we are at it apparently reading is not a reqirment to be in congress if it was they would all have to go back to 5 -8 grades

    October 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  128. Ed

    72 hours at minimum. I think we need at least 2 weeks to read and digest what is being proposed in sweeping healthcare reforms.

    Of course, that is asking alot of congressmen and senators, that usually can only agree on pay raises for themselves and keeping their own healthcare insurance.

    Wisconsin

    October 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  129. Don from New Mexico

    Jack,

    Perhaps this requested "transparency" ought to include an accounting of exactly how much money each one of the congessional members is receiving from health care industry lobbyists.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  130. Ted,Pa.

    The dems have all the power in Washington,just what they wanted. Will they use it or abuse it..When the people see the tax hikes and the cuts in ss and medicare that are comming the crap will hit the fan....SHOW THE BILL..

    October 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  131. bill rupert

    Go ahead and post it.
    If the bill is in ordinary language that was used during the mark-ups then folks that are into that kind of thing might be able to understand what it actually says. But, if the Legal Eagles have gotten hold of it and put in the Legislative Language that will be the final version – good luck.
    It will be painful no matter what version it's in.

    Oh by the way – The Insurance Industry execs don't have to read it. They wrote it.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  132. Al, Lake Placid, FL

    Yes! However, 72 hours are not enough to read a legal document of 1000 plus pages. Legislation this complex should be posted for a least one week. One extra week for a document that will substantially change the health care system is not too much to ask.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  133. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    Why not publish each version of a bill as it is being discussed? That would prohibit Republican congress clowns from putting out their fantasy horror stories about what a bill contains. Deathcamps for senior citizens, my ass. Whoever started THAT rumor should face prison time.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  134. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Not only should they post it, they should post it clear, readable English, there should be boxes on the individual parts of the bill so that the public could vote for the programs they wanted along with the means of funding (after all we're paying for it). That would be TRUE DEMOCRACY & it's about time!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  135. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Transparency? What's that? I just thought it was a word to be tossed around while campaigning, and then quickly forgotten when in office in order to ramrod a radical agenda. Of course it should happen, but Obama and his worshippers don't want the American public to get too educated. They think people are like mushrooms, best kept in the dark. The only light that should filter down to us bottomfeeders should be the aura radiating from the all-knowing triumvirate Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  136. Phyllis G Williams

    No human being in their senses should sign their name for something they have not read, you may say "Yes" to things contrary to your beliefs. In my lifetime I know of quite a few people who signed papers they did not read and have had to regret same for the rest of their lives. I did it once and regretted it, but it turned out to be a great blessing when I needed it to finalize some papers (smile).

    October 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  137. Maggie from Miami, Florida

    Yes,and not just health care reform, but ALL bills should be posted online for 3 days before the vote. But it shouldn't stop there, each bill should be annotated with the name of the person who proposed it, and any added provisions should include the name of each person adding the provision along with full disclosure by each of campaign contributions from special interests and contact with lobbyists for any special interest that may benefit from the proposed bill or provision. See if that passes!

    October 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  138. K

    Sounds like a good idea but with special interests pulling the money strings it doesn't stand a chance and who in congress actually reads a bill they vote on. . republican alreadyhave announced they will not support the bill.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  139. Ian

    When have Republicans been about transparency? How bills are written are way to complex for the average person to understand anyways. What a joke!

    Ian
    Appleton,WI

    October 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  140. Mark in Florida

    Yes Jack:Make each and everyone of them show everything including thier votes so we know who to direct the thumbs down on on election day.This falling economy and all of its lost jobs,lost homes and lost incomes lay squarely on thier sholders,including our friends in the whitehouse.Jack they need to be held accountable for this mess because they are'nt the ones suffering right now.Its the poor american people in all of the states around this country.Wait till they see the american peoples earmarks..

    October 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  141. marion

    I thought you said to vote. I thought you said to vote yes or no on posting whether you believed the 1000 plus pages should be posted on the Internet seventy -two hours or more before the vote. Where is the poll you mentioned? I do believe the bill should be posted. Is there a formulated bill?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  142. Mary Texas

    Jack, What I don't understand is why the people agree to pay the 3rd party insurance companies to shuffle papers that accomplish nothing but a fee for them. They do not treat our illnesses but we have to pay them to tell us whether or not they will accept our dr. and hospital bills. Really stop and consider just what their position is in the game. And their ceos get a million paycheck each year.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  143. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    No, do you think the Republicans are going to vote for it whatever it has in it? I trust the Democrats to put our best interest forward. The Republicans do not want a health care bill, they only take care of themselves and the wealthy. At least Obama has been in office a few months and is trying to get health care passed. So much for all the years the Repubs were in.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  144. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    As long as staff reads those portions of the bill relevant to the member's responsibilities, nothing is untoward. This campaign is tiresome and has an anti-government tinge to it. The way to responsibly devolve government is to actually make proposals to transfer government functions elsewhere, not in trying to throw a monkey wrench into the system.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  145. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    So they post it how are you going to change what you have read?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  146. Wm, Penna

    Jack,
    Good idea to have someone other than the K Street Lobbyists who write the bills read them.

    Why not put them online as they are introduced.

    The Congress has a huge internet system named Thomas. It would work very well to have every bill and every amendment posted. The current word processors are able to keep up with revisions as one coherent document. Let have Congress use it.

    There is some idea around that we pay them and pay for their benefits. Maybe they could do something for us.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  147. pat in michigan

    Jack i believe 7 days would be more appropriate. there will be a lot of hidden agenda stuff in this bill. payoffs and sweetheart buyoffs as well. i'm sure congress can't be trusted. Money bought these sleeze merchants not the people.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  148. Lynn, Mo..

    Sen. Chuck Grassley let it slip that they want the 72 hours for the lawyers of the healthcare industries to read it, not us or them. Besides, no one else could understand it. Majority leader Reid started to read it and he was right, no one could understand it except maybe a lawyer. Also, Pres. Obama promised transparency, not the Congress.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  149. Patricia

    No! Just get it done!

    Boise

    October 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  150. Timofthy, Texas

    Congress will never pass this measure. It just makes too much sense.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  151. Rory

    Yes it should. (All bills should). If it does though, hold on to your seats.

    At an August town hall meeting, I was handed a "fact sheet" about HC3200 which challanged me to read it online. It had some pretty frightening claims about what was actually in there. It cited specific passages and urged me to go online and verify the facts for myself. So I did. I found the "fact sheet" to be an absurd list of distortions, misrepresentations. (I guess if you hand out 1000 flyers and only 300 people bother to check, you come out ahead).

    Can you imagine the birrage of charges and spin that will fly accross the media and the internet? At the end of 72 hours, no one will remember which way is up. It will be a be an absolute mess.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  152. Fred Boenig

    So after we all read it and then what? We call our congressmen? Like that would do anything, its all about payola from one side or the other, what the average Joe thinks has nothing to do with how business gets done. There is a great story in THE ALTERNATE ROOT this month from an American living in the Netherlands and he explains how Health Care works in the REAL WORLD. Where insurance companies compete with quality of care and customer service not by who they can cheat by not covering the things they said they would when you sent the check.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  153. Dan, West Plains, Missouri

    Jack, I think that it should be posted online so the people can read it. Then we the people can use sock puppets, an popup books to explain the bill back to congress.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  154. Marie

    Posting the health care legislation 72 hrs ahead of the vote implies that we will a) read it in its entirety, b) immediately contact our reps & senators to voice our concerns), and c) our reprs & senators actually care what we think. False assumptions on all counts. The legalese & length of the bills make them incomprehensible even for me, a retired college professor. I live in a "re-constructed" TX district – Rockwall – that insures my reps & senators have no interest in my viewpoint – they only listen to their right wing base and to heck with the rest of us. So – even if I can work my way through the bill – who is listening to me?

    October 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  155. Patricia

    No, just vote and move on! It's time.

    Boise

    October 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  156. Greg

    Jack:

    Good start, but 3 days is not a reasonable amount of time to provide
    due dilligence and communicate with our voting Representatives.

    As a government "for the people, by the people" we have too many
    examples of the people not being properly represented (one example, Representation" (one example
    the $3 Trillion Bail Out")

    We need to end this "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION"
    or "WE THE PEOPLE" should fix this problem,
    maybe the same way we resolved it back when we were
    Colonies of England.

    Greg
    Biloxi, MS

    October 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  157. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I have a simple answer for this question. Yes, I do think it is appropriate to post the final health care reform bill on line for at least 72 hours prior to a final vote takes place. I see more good than bad coming from a move like this. While we can't force people to read it I'm confident some will and that makes the effort worth it. I know that I would make the time to read it if given that opportunity. Actually, at one time I actually had a job that required me to do these type of thingson a daily basis and the job is still one of the ones I consider a favorite out of a long list. It's been my opinion for a longtime that being informed assists you in making good choices in life.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  158. GWTripp

    I am all for making everything related to our government open for public scrutiny.
    1. Everything that occurs on the floor of the Congress and Senate should be publicly aired (CSPAN?).
    2. Every bill posted on the internet at least two days floor.
    3. Every government committee should be public.
    4. All activities of lobbyists should be public.
    Most people don’t realize that most laws are actually written by lobbyists in the first place. Let's make government transparency not just a public right, we need to make it mandatory that these civics lessons be taught to every student in every state. And be a requirement for voting.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  159. Esther Ohio

    I want to vote on it I want it to be like ERA and we need to pass it in 50 states for it to be enacted.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  160. Pamela holt

    Foley al. Does it really matter? Could we ,the people , really understand the twisted legaleese in it? And,would it stop my 79 year old husbands 71.00
    Medicare supplement with blue cross, blue shield of Alabama, from doubling from 71.00, to 140.00in Jan. 2010. while we,the people are begging for help with healthcare,the insurance co. Are planning ahead for their windfalls, while Obama drags his feet.there goes my chance of getting me some health insurance.when blue cross, blue shield of al. Doubles my husbands Medicare supplement in Jan.2010,then they are snatching away my opportunity to purchase me some insurance.ka,sa,rah,sa, rah. .......

    October 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  161. sylvia (florida)

    It does not matter if they give 1 year for the pople to read it, because its whatever congress and the goverment wants. They could care less about what the people think. Its going to be passed even if we don't like it.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  162. Bruce from Newport Beach, CA

    One week would be better to give voters a chance to provide input. However, calls from voters will do no good because many Congressmen who are paid off by private insurers will vote against the public option or anything that threatens the cash cow of the HMOs.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  163. richard a. winkler

    No. It is probably 500 pages long, and who wants to read that.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  164. Phillip in Long Beach, Ca

    It should be posted for several weeks to let all of us have a chance to thoroughly digest this thing. Unfortunately, I think it'll be passed with little or no debate in one of those late-night sessions.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  165. Bruce - Delaware

    Absolutely

    October 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  166. Jonas

    Are you kidding. The bill's posted online in both written and audio. Americans are too lazy.

    October 8, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  167. Eleanor G. Schilling

    The 1152 pages should be posted online, but it should also be offered in a shortened and simplified version that the vast majority of us poor mortals will be able to understand.

    I'm sure the congressmen have aides who are brighter than they are and who sift through such tomes and interpret them for them.

    Why should we be without such assistance?

    October 8, 2009 at 5:01 pm |