Late Night Tackles TrumpCare
The GOP's health-care plan cleared its first hurdle early Thursday, when the House Ways and Means Committee signed off on the bill "after roughly 18 hours of debate," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. "And anyone who has spent 18 hours trying to pass something knows what you get at the end." The long debate led to some loopy moments, like that time Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) mused about taxing ice cream and sunlight. "So, if you're worried about losing your health care, do not worry," Colbert said. "It's safely in the hands of the guy who was up all night googling 'Why don't we tax the sun?'"
The GOP plan is running into some stiff, across-the-board opposition, but not to worry, President Trump has a backup plan — let ObamaCare collapse, blame the Democrats. "Okay, hold on there, chief," Colbert said. "You're in charge now. If you let health care collapse, I don't think we'll blame the Democrats, we will blame you. That's like a firefighter letting the house burn down to make the space heater look bad."
After imagining the presumably awkward dinner Trump hosted Wednesday night with Ted and Heidi Cruz, Colbert noted that Trump is "all-in, he's pulling out all the stops on this health-care bill, except when it comes to the name — because the White House is asking: Please don't call it TrumpCare." Conservatives will apparently react negatively to anything that ends in "-care," he noted, "or, maybe Trump just doesn't want to attach his name to something that no one likes — although that has never stopped him before," a nod to Trump's many failed business ventures.
Trump isn't trying to sell this alone, though. House Speaker Paul Ryan is doing his part, too, using a PowerPoint presentation Thursday to lay out the GOP's "three-pronged approach." Colbert summarized: "One, repeal; two, replace; three, look over there!" Paul also laid out what he views as ObamaCare's fundamental flaw — and Colbert saw it a little differently: "You just described how insurance works. That is literally the definition of insurance." He gave another example of Ryan's approach, one Trump might understand: "The problem with this casino is that the people who are losing are funding the people who are winning — it's time to have a casino where every single time you play the slots, it's a jackpot." Watch below. Peter Weber