A friend who once worked on Capitol Hill told me earlier this year that he believed many of the staff working on the House Democrats’ version of health-care reform saw what they were crafting as something that would bring in national health insurance through the backdoor.
As I’ve been reading the bill Speaker Pelosi unveiled last week, I see at the top of each page a reference to the computer file which names the text of the bill: F:P11NHITRICOMMAHCAA_001.XML. AHCAA is an abbreviation for the short title of the act, “Affordable Health Care for America Act.” “TriComm” is a reference to the three House committees (Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor) that produced the previous version of the bill, HR 3200, and whose staffs presumably cobbled together its successor, HR 3962. And “NHI”? A sub-directory for storing drafts of National Health Insurance proposals?
— Hanns Kuttner is a visiting fellow at Hudson Institute.