I had a hunch – make that a premonition – about the just-unveiled Republican health care bill, the American Health Care Act, that has been so widely criticized for being formulated behind closed doors and without the checks and balances of public scrutiny.
Those naysayers, I had reckoned, overlooked the fact that at least those senators behind those bolted doors did subject themselves to oversight: they had health-care industry lobbyists right in there with them to orchestrate the Act’s provisions.
You could perhaps think of those camp followers as watchdogs vigilantly looking out for your and my families’ health-care interests.
Against this backdrop I had confidently predicted that Senate committee members McConnell, Hatch, Alexander, Enzi, Thune, Lee, Cruz, Cotton, Gardner, Barrasso, Cornyn, Portman and Toomey were preparing to surprise every American, and in a very auspicious manner.
Senator McConnell (so my musing went) was going to step up to the microphone and announce that the very first item on their version of the AHCA would be to abolish Congress’ Cadillac/ Rolls-Royce/ Dom Perignon lifetime health-care coverage and replace it with the new AHCA’s provisions that, if the bill wins final approval, will be available to Americans at large.
McConnell (along with all 12 other nodding-in-full-agreement senators on the committee) would then perhaps conclude this noble gesture with a poignant reflection that might play out something like …
“In a spirit of fairness to our fellow ’Murcans and in recognition that we in Congress deserve no better health care than that of the very folks who elected us to office, we incorporated this as the Act’s very first provision. Behind these closed doors we were unanimously committed to leveling the health-care playing field for every American, including all of us elected representatives and their families.”
Yep. That’s what I was thinkin’ …