On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took a look at the Affordable Care Act, a bill that some Republicans have dubbed “the worst piece of legislation ever.” “Good news, Fugitive Slave Act, you’re finally off the hook,” said Oliver.
The House and Senate have passed budget resolutions to start the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, despite what their constituents may want. More than 20 million Americans gained health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but as Oliver pointed out many people appreciated the coverage, but could never get over the fact that the act became known as Obamacare. “It goes to show you that it matters what people call something,” said Oliver. “Would Emma Stone be as popular if her real name was Blump Shartcracker? No, that’s why it’s good that she changed it.”
There are also continuing misconceptions about Obamacare, including the so-called death panels, which weren’t just a lie, but was PolitiFact’s ‘Lie of the Year’, which Oliver noted was particularly impressive because in 2009, “America was also repeatedly told Jason Mraz was the next big thing.”
Oliver agreed that there were some problems with the ACA, but now it is up to the Republicans to improve the program, which President Trump promised he would do. There’s just one problem, according to Oliver, “Every time you get near something resembling a Republican plan it seems to just recede into the distance.”
Republicans currently have a seven-page long draft bill that simply ends with the phrase “[placeholder]” and as Oliver noted, “If your spouse gave you a birthday card that said [placeholder] that would not signal they were working on the best language to address their feelings for you, that would signal they forgot your birthday.”
According to Oliver, the Republicans are currently circulating draft proposals with ideas like high risk pools (“Which sound like something you’d find at Jeremy Piven’s house”), block grants, health savings accounts (“very fancy piggybanks”), and small refundable tax credits to help people afford insurance premiums. “A tax credit that small helps cover your health insurance the way a thong covers your dad’s a–,” said Oliver. “It doesn’t and there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”