Jared Kushner's Big Health Care Idea

A business proposal for the government.

Image: ryanne lai

JARED has been assigned to lead a SWAT team that will come up with business plans to fix government. He is ready to pitch his first idea to his father-in-law President, but he must clear the concept with his wife IVANKA.

JARED [to himself, in the doorway]: Can you look at this pitch deck I made? It’s for my business ideas SWAT team.

IVANKA is reclining on a fainting couch, the only thing the couple bothered moving down to Washington from New York. She is busily but quietly mismanaging a supply chain for one of her own businesses, directly from her phone.

JARED [to himself again, after retreating a half step]: It’s a monthly subscription box. For healthcare. The Health Box. Subscribe and you can eliminate the need for health insurance. [JARED nods and snaps his finger, in order to count one beat.] And the need for doctors. [JARED shakes his head ‘No.’ He digs the nail of his middle finger, the finger he just snapped, into the fleshy section of his palm, but draws no blood.] For physicians. Eliminate the need for physicians.

IVANKA [immersed in her phone]: I can’t hear you when you’re in the doorway.

JARED: I had an idea is all.

IVANKA [playing the New York Times Daily Mini crossword, on her phone]: For the business SWAT team, yes. A subscription service that will make healthcare obsolete. Say more.

JARED: Well, like, a box will be delivered to your house every month. On like the 5th. Or the 15th. You could tell us when to ship, maybe. And the box would have, like, Band-aids and that cream you put on, before you put on the Band-aid that makes the cut heal faster.

IVANKA [deleting old messages on her phone]: You’re describing a first-aid kit.

There’s a loud thud in the hallway. The KUSHNER CHILDREN are crying. STEVE BANNON is telling them off, screaming at them to shut the fuck up. His voice is hoarse.

JARED: I thought he didn’t have to stay here anymore.

IVANKA [craning her neck in a hatha-based way]: You know it’s only for the back end of the first hundred days. And then he is moving back into his office. [IVANKA emails three separate vendors, threatening non-payment and/or litigation.] Please continue.

JARED: Band-aids and cream. One of your designers could have fun with the Band-aids. Maybe like a pine tree design for the men and clouds for the women. And crutches. Foldable crutches so they fit inside the box. And the crutches will smell like cedar. [JARED inhales, and remembers his dad CHARLIE’s cedar chest, where he and his mother hid the paperwork, all the paperwork, on the day of CHARLIE’s sentencing.]

IVANKA [closing her eyes]: The people need exercise and Narcan.

JARED [pivoting]: Then we can include pieces of paper that entitle to them reduced prices at Equinox or SoulCycle.

IVANKA [eyes still closed]: You’re describing a coupon. Daddy hates coupons.

JARED [increasingly desperate]: We could include trainers. A trainer who could come over to your house and work you out. Whenever you want. On your schedule, like Uber. That way the working moms with busy schedules can be included too. [JARED brushes IVANKA’s hair.] Like you wanted.

IVANKA [twisting her head away from JARED’s hand]: Healthcare has nothing to do with working mothers.

JARED [deferring to IVANKA]: Of course.

IVANKA [ignoring an incoming text from CHELSEA CLINTON suggesting they run for office together as a unity ticket in 2020 or even like 2024]: Focus more on the Narcan part. You must integrate big pharma more thoroughly if you want Daddy to care.

JARED: What if we do seasonal medicinal cocktails? Mood stabilizers for holiday time and allergy pills for springtime? Cocaine for the summer months and Adderall for back to school.

IVANKA [emailing recipes to her lawyer, who has become her best friend]: Cocaine is illegal for most. And make sure the drugs are only from companies we part own.

JARED: How do I —

IVANKA: And what about an exit strategy? The SWAT team exists to enrich the family. How will the subscription box service be spun out so we amass maximum personal profits? We don’t want to operate for long.

JARED [eagerly]: There is no exit. We’ll be the Starbucks of healthcare. The same way Howard Schultz generated a demand for coffee out of nothing, we will generate a demand for healthcare. No one drank coffee before him. He invented the idea. We’re creating a demand for healthcare the same way.

IVANKA: Howard Schultz is with her. And Starbucks is brick-and-mortar retail.

JARED: Then what does dad want?

IVANKA [curtly]: He is my father. Charlie is yours.

The three KUSHNER CHILDREN break into the room, distressed but not remarkably so. The daughter tattles on STEVE BANNON, because he has again used the expression ‘clash of civilizations.’ IVANKA speaks to them in Mandarin, explaining that STEVE BANNON is wicked because he drinks alcohol but harmless and deserving of pity because he is homeless.

JARED [used to getting what he wants]: Will you look at the Powerpoint then?

IVANKA [reading a glossy magazine on her phone]: I’m with the children now.

[JARED persists though, and hands the pitch deck to his wife.]

IVANKA [in work mode]: On the first page you ask, why healthcare reform? Delete ‘reform,’ transpose ‘why’ and ‘healthcare,’ and add a colon between the words. Now it will read, healthcare: why? You don’t need the other pages. They’ll only distract him.

IVANKA gives the rest of the deck to her daughter who, as if by instinct, destroys the document in the paper shredder beside the fainting couch. JARED sits as IVANKA and the KUSHNER CHILDREN exit.