Health Reform and War and Peace

Representative Ted Poe thinks the health reform bill in the House is too long:

He described the package on health reform as a 1,017-page document. He said it was delivered near midnight and put up for debate at 9:30 a.m. the next morning, before many had the chance to read it. Poe said he has read all 1,017 pages. “It is longer than War and Peace and not near as funny,” said Poe.

I have not read all 1,107 pages of the bill since that’s not actually an enlightening way to understand legislation. I have, however, read War and Peace and it’s longer than that. The Signet Classics edition is 1,456 pages. The Vintage Classics edition is 1,296 pages. The Penguin Classics edition is 1,424 pages. Even the relatively brief Norton Critical Edition rolls in at 1,200 pages.

Maybe he was thinking of Anna Karenina



PW observes:

Nobody ever mentions that bills have very few words on each page. They’re double spaced, there are huge margins, every line is numbered — it ends up working out to only 150 words a page or so. The HC bill may be long, but it’s the equivalent of a 300 or 400-page book, tops.

Somewhere between Fathers and Sons and Crime and Punishment in 19th century Russian novel terms.