Be careful what you wish for ...

Is there anywhere that I can get a copy of the health care act that was just upheld by the Supreme Court? I don't have a computer, but I would like to be able to read it.

— Sarah G., Medford

Be careful what you wish for, Sarah, because, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson, "The text? You can't handle the text!"

Now don't be offended, Sarah, we're not questioning your intelligence. But before you ask for a printed version of the Affordable Health Care Act, you should know that it's approximately 2,700 pages long. At about 5 pounds for every 500 pages of 20-pound bond paper, a printout would weigh 27 pounds. Now you could go getting all green on us and print on both sides, but you'd still have a weighty tome.

Justice Antonin Scalia, no fan of the health care act to begin with, seemed taken aback by the size of the reading task when the case was presented to the court in March. He jokingly reminded the lawyers involved that the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

"What happened to the Eighth Amendment?" Scalia asked. "You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?"

If you insist on going through the 2,700 pages yourself, we suggest a trip to the library, where you can browse through the act on one of their computers. We also suggest that you bring No-Doze and that you plan on numerous trips to complete the task.

If you do locate a computer to use, you can find the full text of the act at

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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