You’ve probably already read a million thought pieces on how the Republican Senate AHCA bill is being written totally in secret, no one knows what’s in it, etc. So I’m not going to bother with that. But this exchange, in a revealing post over at Vox where reporters asked Republican Senators to explain their bill, has me losing my mind:
Tara Golshan, Vox: Generally, what are the big problems this bill is trying to solve?
John McCain: Almost all of them. They’re trying to get to 51 votes.
Tara Golshan: Policy-wise. What are the problems in the American health care system this is trying to solve — and is the bill doing that right now?
John McCain: Well, it’s whether you have full repeal, whether you have partial repeal, whether you have the basis of it. It’s spread all over.
Tara Golshan: But based on the specifics of the bill you have heard so far, is it solving the problems in the health care system?
John McCain: What I hear is that we have not reached consensus. That’s what everybody knows.
Tara Golshan: Right, but outside of getting the votes. From what you hear of the actual legislation being written is it solving the problems you see —
John McCain: It’s not being written. Because there’s no consensus.
Tara Golshan: But generally speaking, what are the big problems it is trying to solve?
John McCain: You name it. Everything from the Repeal caucus, which as you know they have made their views very clear — Rand Paul, etc. And then there are the others on the other side of the spectrum that just want to make minor changes to the present system. There’s not consensus.
Five times Tara Golshan (who deserves some sort of an award) asks Senator McCain what the bill is trying to do, what problems it’s trying to solve. FIVE TIMES. And, five times, Senator McCain can only discuss the difficulties of getting to 50 votes. Fifty Republican votes, mind you.
There’s literally no discussion of cost, of quality, of access. No mention of premiums or deductibles or even taxes. No concerns about anything even remotely related to healthcare at all.
I can’t tell if he didn’t want to answer, or if actual healthcare literally didn’t cross his mind. Some days I despair.