George Will, in his recent Jan. 16,2011 essay, " A Congress that reasserts its power", comments on the eclipse of Congress by the executive branch and the various federal agencies .
See here for the entire column.
Will says in part:
"The eclipse of Congress by the executive branch and other agencies is Congress' fault. It is the result of lazy legislating and lax oversight. Too many 'laws"actually are little more than pious sentiments endorsing social goals-environmental,educational,etc.-the meaning of which are later defined by executive-branch-rule-making."
The "etc." could well include the recently passed health care bill. The phrase "the Secretary (of HHS) shall determine" occurs repeatedly in the bill.If ever the phrase " the devil is in the details" applies it is in Obamacare.
Federal bureaucrats will write the rules that will be the very essence of the program. Congress endorsed a social goal ( health insurance for all-well, all but some 14-23 million, depending on whose estimate you believe) and abrogated the defining details to various federal agencies .
Will points out that the Federal register is a more important guide to governance than is the Congressional record.
To describe the belief that health care in this country will be improved by thousands of federal regulations patched together by scores of agencies, each subject to lobbying pressures and the risk of regulatory capture, requires a modifier stronger than the word "panglossian".