On Thursday, House Republicans passed a controversial bill to replace Obamacare. The bill now heads to the Senate, though as you might imagine, several late-night hosts already have some thoughts on the topic. There were lots of jokes, but some also took a more serious approach.
“In reality, Trump will not be able to hide from the ramifications of this bill, and those ramifications are disastrous,” Seth Meyers said on NBC’s “Late Night.” “Remember, when Republicans first tried to pass this bill a few weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office found that it would kick as many as 24 million Americans off of health insurance; raise premiums for older, poor Americans by more than 750 percent; cut federal Medicaid spending by $880 billion; and give the wealthiest people a giant tax cut of nearly $1 trillion over a decade.”
From Meyers and Stephen Colbert to Trevor Noah and Jimmy Fallon, comments about the new Republican health-care plan and President Trump fell into a few different categories:
1) The fact Republicans didn’t seem to know much about the bill.
Meyers: “House Republicans today voted on and passed an Obamacare replacement bill without knowing how much it would cost. Though I’m not surprised — they also voted on an Obama replacement without knowing the cost.”
Fallon: “Today the House voted to pass the Republican health-care bill before taking an 11-day recess. They said they’re going to use the break to kick back, relax and finally read the bill they just voted for.”
Meyers: (Clip of Texas Rep. Joe Barton saying “The honest answer is that nobody really knows” the cost of the bill.) “And when it comes to health care, I think all Americans want the comfort of not knowing. ‘Am I covered for this lifesaving procedure?’ ‘Why don’t we do the operation now and we’ll tell you tomorrow!’ ”
Noah: “Republicans passed this bill without an official scoring of its costs from the Congressional Budget Office, so the true effects of the bill could be anything. Your baby could have to do its own C-section from the inside. You don’t know.”
Meyers: “Some Republicans right now are just outright admitting they did not read the bill that they voted on, a bill that would reorganize one-sixth of the American economy. (Clip of Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett saying “I don’t think any individual has read the whole bill, that’s why we have staff.”) That’s right. Your elected official didn’t read the bill, but Jonah did.”
2) What the bill could take away.
Colbert: “Of course, the big question is whether the new plan will cover preexisting conditions. And the answer is a definite (shrugs) ‘meh’ “?
Noah: “Right now, Obamacare doesn’t let insurers raise rates for people with preexisting conditions. But with this bill, their rates could go way up. And if people can’t afford their higher rates, they get thrown into something called a ‘high risk pool’ which sounds less like an insurance plan and more like something you find in Charlie Sheen’s backyard.”
Meyers: “Obamacare was paid for largely with a tax increase on the richest Americans. The new bill would cut taxes for the wealthy up to $883 billion. Now, listen, if hearing that raises your blood pressure, calm down. You can’t afford the medication anymore.”
Noah: “Everyone has seen [the news about the bill] by now, but in case you’ve got bad eyesight, I’ve got some bad news about your health care.”
3) President Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus’s football analogy. (Though he actually said “punch,” not “punt.”)
Colbert: “After the vote, one reporter ran into Reince Preibus, who told her, ‘The president stepped up and helped punt the ball into the end zone.’ Yes, a punt into the end zone. Accurate because it gets you zero points and gives your opponent good field position.”
Fallon: “Reince Priebus said that Trump helped pass the bill by punting ball into the end zone. When told that analogy didn’t quite make sense, he said ‘I meant that he hit a grand slam into the net and slapped the puck right into the hoop, is that better?’ ”
4) The group standing around Trump at the White House Rose Garden ceremony on Thursday.
Colbert: “Right after the vote, the Republicans went over to the White House, where Donald Trump spoke about the bill in front of nation’s strategic white guy reserve.”
Meyers: “Look how happy those old white guys are. I guess they’re just happy they finally passed something that wasn’t a kidney stone. No longer covered, by the way.”
— Sarah Lerner (@SarahLerner) May 5, 2017
5) The fact that states could opt out of certain benefits, from maternity care to ambulance trips.
Colbert: “This new bill allows states to waive the benefit rules and set up their own standards. You know, because people get sick differently in different states. In California, you could be suffering from ‘hella foot pain, brah.’ Whereas in Massachusetts it’s ‘wicked bad gout in your red sox.’ ”
Colbert: “If all of this seems extreme, don’t worry. Some members of Congress are telling journalists that the state’s controversial provisions aren’t a big deal because ‘no state would be crazy enough to actually ask for them.’ Have you met Florida?”
Noah: “How insane is that? Under this bill, if you live in a red state, ambulances might not be a basic benefit anymore. Now when you get injured you get picked up by a taxi with a bachelorette party on the roof.”
Meyers: “Republicans think your health insurance shouldn’t have to cover ambulance trips. So if you’re having a heart attack, don’t call 911, call…”
6) At the Rose Garden ceremony, when Trump said “How am I doing? Am I doing okay? I’m president. Hey, I’m president, can you believe it?”
Meyers: “No. I can’t. I cannot.”
Colbert: “WE STILL CAN’T.”
Noah: “Even Donald Trump can’t believe he’s president. I guess he does relate to the American people after all, you know?”