With the Republicans finally releasing the details of their so-called health care plan earlier in the day, Seth Meyers took one of his signature closer looks last night at both the substance and the process involved in the GOP’s official Obamacare replacement. SPOILER: He wasn’t a fan. Sure, Meyers is famously no fan of this administration’s policies, and there are two sides to every issue and all, but the Late Night host made a lot of the inescapably damning points critics of the bill and people with human souls have made about the earlier, House-passed version of the Affordable Health Care Act in the most effective way possible.
Using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s own words against him, Meyers (and his clip team) assembled a montage of an indignant McConnell railing against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act back when it was being passed. McConnell complained that the ACA was being written ”behind closed doors.” It wasn’t. As Meyers shows with some of those pesky facts Trump and the Republicans are so fond of denigrating, Obama ensured that the ACA went through more than 100 hearings, months of public debate, and even White House sit-downs where the president entertained Republican lawmakers’ questions and complaints for hours on end. (He did get a little saucy at one point, shutting down McConnell’s whine about equal speaking time with a mic-dropping “because I’m the president,” which might explain a few things.) In case you were wondering, the 13 Senate Republicans (all white, all male, naturally) wrote their proposed replacement in complete secrecy, invited no public input, and, in a clip, McConnell obstinately even refused to give Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer an assurance of 10 hours for debate and amendments before a proposed vote next fucking week. The bill (called “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” for that added Orwellian flavor) was so secret that Meyers showed Utah Republican Mike Lee telling his constituents he doesn’t know what’s in it—even though he’s one of the fucking 13 people who supposedly wrote the fucking thing. Seriously.
“It’s a breathtakingly cynical process to produce a breathtakingly cruel bill,” pronounced Meyers, and it’s hard to argue that a “health care” plan that cuts medicare, maternity and prescription drug coverage, drastically raises deductibles, allows insurers to cut off people with pre-existing conditions, and will cost tens of millions of people their necessary medical care (among other venal horrors) is anything but cruel. Especially since, in what Smithers might term “the Republicans’ ordinary villainy turning into cartoonish supervillainy,” all these cuts are in service of mammoth tax breaks and windfalls for the wealthiest people in the country. But, as Meyers went on to show through that damned permanent video record, literally every onerous aspect of the Republicans’ plan is in direct violation of (again literally) every rosy, hyperbolic promise candidate Trump made. In a clip of Trump’s Wednesday Iowa campaign rally for a job he’s already got, Donald Trump told his unquestioningly adoring supporters, once again, how he’s got their backs. Even though he’s pushing for a plan that will bankrupt, sicken, and literally kill some of them. Then again, the crowd also cheered when he told them that—in direct contradiction of his rah-rah populism—he’d only trust rich people (name-checking the very Goldman Sachs execs he mocked Hillary Clinton for associating with) to handle the important stuff. By trying to cut his supporters’ health coverage, it sounds like another cruel joke on a bunch of people with a serious memory-loss problem.