You should read Megan McArdle's post predicting the objectively measurable effects of ObamaCare. She's doubtful that the claims of ObamaCare supporters about mortality rates, medical bankruptcy rates, cost inflation, etc. will be fulfilled.
Which reminded me of something I've batted around my brain for a few years now: legislation should have self-executing suicide clauses. Bills making their way though Congress should have a section describing either:
the specific and objective benefits the legislation
will bring about, over a specified timetable; or
a disclaimer that the legislation predicts no specific benefits.
(In which case, hopefully, everyone will ask why it's even proposed.)
For example, during the Health Care Summit last month, President Obama claimed that "family insurance premiums in the individual market would decrease 14 to 20 percent".
Had this proposal been in place, the obvious retort would have been: "Oh, yeah? Let's put that test in the legislation's suicide clause. So if premiums don't decrease by at least 14 percent [over whatever timeframe you're imagining], Obamacare is automatically repealed. Deal?"
"Uh, er, well,…"
This would quickly separate the True Believers from the Bullshitters. Nancy Pelosi claims the bill will "create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately"? Either put that in the Suicide Clause, Nancy, or shut up about it.
This simgle reform would cause advocates to get much more modest and realistic in their claims. And the public would then be able to judge far better than now whether a law would be worth passing.