To Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

Unfortunately, Senator John McCain will not be able to attend the Senate floor this week while he heals from a minimally invasive craniotomy to remove a five-centimeter blood clot from above his left eye. While this sounds serious, do not worry, he’ll recover from this life-saving surgery in time to prevent millions of Americans from receiving life-saving surgeries of their own.

Thanks to Senator McCain’s government-guaranteed insurance, routine annual physicals are included, so we were able to find the clot before it became life-threatening. This will ensure he can return to the Senate floor to vote “Yes” on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Trust us, the Senator could not stop talking about how eager he is to allow insurance companies to deny routine annual exams like the one that saved his life.

We also understand there is no time to waste. In Senator McCain’s surgery, we acted with speed to open his skull and remove the clot near the left frontal lobe of his brain. In the Senate, you must act with speed so that you can vote before the new CBO score is released. It would be disastrous if the public found out that, instead of 22 million people losing coverage, the new Cruz amendment brings it closer to 26 or 28 million people. Because while ripping healthcare away from 22 million mothers, babies, and genuinely nice guys named Ted is completely acceptable, 26 million might lose you a vote or two.

Please accept our sincere apology for the delay in the vote. We hope this extra time doesn’t give the other senators a chance to read the bill before they vote on it. Otherwise, they might object to the lesser-known sections that allow insurers to charge seniors like Senator McCain five times as much as young people, deny women birth control coverage, and give insurance companies the right to your firstborn child, pending you cannot guess the insurance company’s true name.

It will comfort you to know we’ve been working in conjunction with the medical team that performed former Representative Jason Chaffetz’s ankle surgery in April. He was supposed to miss multiple weeks of Congress, but, just a week later, he voted to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA). His brave vote will allow insurers to deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions, like having a wonky ankle, the capacity to age, or fingers. That is what we hope to achieve with Senator McCain’s recovery.

Finally, and this is somewhat unusual in a doctor’s note, we must offer our sincere gratitude that you have included a section in the BCRA guaranteeing that members of Congress, like John McCain, will retain all the benefits of the Affordable Care Act even after its repeal. You have ensured that we will be able to care for Senator McCain and his fellow members of Congress long after the rest of the healthcare system has imploded, leaving nothing but endless despair and carrion for scavenging coyotes.

Senator McCain’s Medical Team
Mayo Clinic Hospital
Phoenix, AZ