The House of Representatives is busily working to foster the death of process in government. Every good manager knows process is important in the conduct of business. Organizations need structure and discipline in order to perform at the highest level. Process is not more important than the outcome rather process aids in the development of the outcome. Successful firms have employee handbooks that address structure and working within the organization.
The current attempt by the House to change the Affordable Care Act is understandable given the rhetoric during the recent elections from the president down to almost every Republican representative. However, the first attempt to repeal and change the Affordable Care Act was a disaster both process wise and politically. Now, just a few weeks after that disaster the House Republicans led by Paul Ryan appear by their own statements to have enough votes to pass a new Affordable Care Act. In their haste to pass the bill they have destroyed any semblance of process as followed by the House for years.
PROCESS or LACK OF PROCESS
1. There have been no hearings on the proposed bill. This brings to mind the “process” of adding riders to bills as has occurred so often in the past and why most presidents have requested the power to have a line item veto which would allow them to sign a bill that is needed but kill the riders. The Affordable Care Act is a bill, not a rider.
2. There have been no studies done on the bill so Congress has no idea as to the impact of the bill. None!
3. There is no Congressional Budget Office analysis of the proposed bill. Granted, the CBO analysis is often debated but at least it provided fodder for the debate. With this effort there is no Congressional Budget Office input available for debate.
4. There is not even a text version of the bill. Lawmakers will be asked to judge this bill without first reading it. This is unimaginable. If a third world country behaved this way “we” would be extremely critical of them. But this is the leading nation in the world behaving this way.
All bills passed by Congress are important. This proposed bill is very important. It deserves scrutiny both by those voting for or against it as well as those impacted by the bill. This is no time to bring about the death of process.
The current leaks coming from the Senate indicate the bill will die when it reaches the Senate floor. Let’s hope the Senate follows normal process and demands hearings, studies, a Congressional Budget Office analysis and a completed text before it reaches its conclusion.
Confucius said: “The character of the ruler is like the wind, the people the grass. In whatever direction the wind blows, the grass bends.” In this case the roles are reversed. The House has become the grass, and we the people have become the wind. If you agree with this please pass it forward and make the wind stronger.