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It’s Stephen Colbert versus the Republicans’ zombie health care bill on The Late Show

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Screenshot: CBS)

Appropriately for a night where he spoke with affable zombie maven Max Brooks, Stephen Colbert, in his opening monologue on Monday’s Late Show, took up arms against the seemingly impossible-to-kill GOP Obamacare repeal effort. Like the hackiest Hollywood horrors, the Republicans’ plan to deprive (by the most conservative estimates) tens of millions of Americans of health insurance rose Monday like that slasher that we should have stabbed one last time to be sure, jump-scaring the crap out of those who thought its three successive recent defeats had rid the world of its rampaging, Ayn Randian evil once and for all. But Colbert, not fooled, figured out why the bill had failed to pass even the Republican-ruled Senate, explaining that previous, equally odious versions didn’t succeed in its intended mass killing spree because “people knew what was in their bill.”

Not so this time, as Colbert laid out the means by which testudinal mad scientist and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrangled enough Republican henchmen in line to vote—on something. “Raiders Of The Lost Ark villain halfway through his face melting” McConnell (according to the visibly, if restrainedly, outraged Colbert) did so with every devious, deceitful scheme at his disposal, from admitting no public debate, to applying pressure on reluctant accomplices, to even wheeling out cancer-afflicted “maverick” Arizona Senator John McCain to cast the deciding vote to unleash an undefined, hastily scribbled plan to essentially snatch away care for people suffering from similarly life-threatening conditions. Now the bill—which, let’s recall, does not exist but which was allowed to advance anyway—will receive a mere 20 hours of debate before being voted up or down by the weekend. You know, after Republicans tried and failed to come up with an acceptable plan for seven-plus years. As Colbert said of this in-limbo bill, “It’s like Schrödinger’s health care—but that cat is probably dead because it doesn’t have health insurance.” Like Frankenstein (the scientist—calm down, pedants), McConnell, McCain, and their Republican co-conspirators are playing God, if God were a soullessly ambitious, sloppy ideologue who thinks up ways for poor people to die quicker, their collective tampering in God’s domain compared by Colbert to the machinations of the morally shaky mastermind behind noted murder-scape Westworld. As Colbert put it, “No one knows what’s going on, but it’s probably gonna be a bad thing for women.”


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