As US president Donald Trump moves to kill the Affordable Care Act, known widely as Obamacare, confusion reigns about the Republicans’ replacement health coverage plan. In the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, British comedian John Oliver pointed out that even Republicans seem to be in the dark about the promised plan.
When asked if it is true that Trump has said a replacement for Barack Obama’s landmark health-care bill is “nearly finished” at his confirmation hearing last month, Tom Price, the now sworn-in health secretary awkwardly responded: “It’s true that he said that, yes.”
“It’s funny,” Oliver said, pretending to laugh along with the audience, “because the president lies to us all the time with no repercussions.”
Oliver took aim at the fragments of a plan that Republicans have released, dismissing each suggested fix as covering Americans’ health costs ”the way a thong covers your dad’s ass. It doesn’t, and there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”
The best sense one can get of what the Republicans will present, as Oliver points out, is from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s vague policy paper (pdf) on repealing Obamacare issued earlier this month. Oliver delved into the four bullet points Ryan offered about the Republican solution: “refundable tax credits,” “high risk pools,” “block grants,” and “health savings accounts.” None of these ideas will actually work, Oliver argues, breaking them down in financial terms—they all share the same “thong problem.”
Compounding the problem for Republicans, Oliver says, is Trump’s promise that ”everybody is going to be covered,” and that he will “take care of everybody… much better than they’re being taken care of now.”
“Insurance companies are deciding right now whether to even offer Obamacare plans next year,” Oliver notes. So, he tells Republicans, “Tick tock, motherfuckers.”