Obamacare Replacement Bill Becomes a McGuffin


According to Alfred Hitchcock a McGuffin is “the device, the gimmick, if you will or the papers the spies are after.” Like the plaid suitcases in What’s Up, Doc? Or the Maltese falcon in The Maltese Falcon.

Trump said he would repeal and replace Obamacare with “something wonderful.” How wonderful is it? So wonderful that the House Republicans are scared shitless that its contents will become public, which will generate instant and overwhelming opposition, which will scare off their members.

The solution? Keep it secret!

From Politico:

Senate Republicans aren’t backing the latest House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying they are reserving judgment until House leaders provide key details about the proposal they intend to advance as soon as next week.

Top House Republican committee chairmen Kevin Brady and Greg Walden on Wednesday crossed the Capitol to rally support among their Senate counterparts for their bill but provided lawmakers with few details, such as a cost estimate, legislative language or policy details, even as they walked senators through the broad outlines of the plan. …

“I need to see a plan. You want me to endorse something I haven’t even read? … This is a big thing,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “They are describing a plan. They didn’t hand out a piece of paper. There are still numbers missing.”

There were reports that the text of the bill would only be made available to Republicans to read in a basement room in a House office building.

It then developed that the text of the bill is secret—and unavailable to Republicans like Rand Paul.

The bizarre security measures for the bill, which came to light Wednesday night, underscore how politically risky repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has come to be seen in the past month by GOP leaders.

The leadership has been buffeted on one side by members of the public who are afraid of losing health-care coverage — and who have angrily voiced those fears at recent congressional town halls — and on the other side by conservative members of the GOP caucus who want a wholesale repeal of the ACA or a less liberal replacement plan.

“I have been told that the House Obamacare bill is under lock & key, in a secure location & not available for me or the public to view,” Paul tweeted Thursday morning.

“This is unacceptable. This is the biggest issue before Congress and the American people right now,” tweeted Paul, who has pushed for his own replacement proposal.

Paul later tweeted: “I am heading to the secure location where they are keeping the House obamacare bill. I will demand a copy for the American people.”

But those efforts were rebuffed, even after Paul toted along a photocopier to make his own copy of the legislation.

But not to worry, folks. It’s something wonderful. That’s why they’re scared to let you read it.

This is turning into The Keystone Cops Search for the Maltese Falcon.