Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles TrumpCare

Stephen Colbert mockingly congratulates the GOP on its TrumpCare self-congratulations

Stephen Colbert started Thursday's Late Show monologue with a combination of Star Wars Day and the House Republicans passing their health-care bill, including a cameo from Late Show congressional correspondent Ben Kenobe.

"The big question is whether the new plan will cover pre-existing conditions, and the answer is a definite mweh?" Colbert said. "Because the bill has an amendment that allows states to opt out — opting out, very popular provision with many of the states who already fly the traditional opt-out flag." (You'll have to watch for that one.) "And, of course, it wouldn't be a Republican bill if it didn't include tax cuts," Colbert said. "ObamaCare was paid for largely with a tax increase on the richest Americans; the new bill will cut taxes for the wealthy up to $883 billion. Now listen, if hearing that raises your blood pressure, calm down — you can't afford the medication anymore."

But this was a day of accomplishment for Republicans, Colbert conceded. "So they did it! ObamaCare is finally officially dead! — is something they can say once the bill goes to the Senate, then gets out of committee, is debated on the floor where amendments can be added, then the Senate votes on their bill, which is sent to conference committee, where the differences between the two bills are ironed out, then voted on in the House and Senate again, then sent to the White House for the president to sign. Which is why Republicans were chanting, 'We're No. 1 ... third of the way through a very complex process!'"

None of that stopped Republicans from celebrating with "a massive beer bash," Colbert said, but "it wasn't just beer. They also served unhatched chickens. There was so much food they had to bring in a cart before a horse." Then, "after the vote, one reporter ran into Reince Priebus, who told her, 'The president stepped up and helped punt the ball into the end zone.' Yes, a punt into the end zone — accurate, because it gets zero points and gives your opponent good field position."

After talking about President Trump, Colbert closed on a darker note: "If you lose your health care, remember, laughter is the best medicine — until yesterday, when a jury convicted a woman who laughed at Jeff Sessions. See, Trump's America isn't so bad — it's just that laughter is now a crime." Watch below. Peter Weber