John Oliver compared the GOP’s recently unveiled Obamacare replacement plan to an unwanted Pirates of the Caribbean sequel on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight. “The American Health Care Act: You may not have wanted it. It looks awful. But it’s here anyway. Try to think of it as the legislative equivalent of “Pirates of the Caribbean 5: The Curse of Johnny Depp Getting Divorced and Needing the Money.”
The bill faced immediate criticism from across the political spectrum, and Oliver echoed those complaints during the episode’s main segment. First, he highlighted the AHCA’s age-based tax credit, which would replace Obamacare’s income-based credit. “The older you get, the more money you get,” the comedian said. “[But] do the size of those credits sufficiently cover the actual cost of health insurance?”
In many cases, probably not, Oliver said. He displayed the Kaiser Family Foundation‘s interactive health care map, which allows users to input sample age, income and location to determine tax credits. For example, a 60-year-old living in Woodward County, Oklahoma – who would receive $13,350 under Obamacare – would only earn $4,000 under the AHCA.
“That is over two-thirds less,” Oliver said. “And it’s not one of those two-thirds decreases that you barely notice, like when Robin and Barry of the Bee Gees died. I’m kidding – Barry is fine. Robin and Maurice are dead. Or are they? The point is, they are. Although, to be fair, I have no idea. You don’t either, and I don’t see either of us Googling it anytime soon.”
Oliver also observed the bill’s “really vicious” changes to Medicaid. One estimate, by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, found that the plan would cut at least $370 billion in funding over the next 10 years. “What that means is that states would have to make up that gap to maintain current levels of coverage, which for many of them will be next to impossible,” he said. “So when they don’t, millions of the poorest Americans will lose coverage. And I literally just heard [Paul] Ryan getting another erection as I said those words.”
An estimated 15 million Americans could lose coverage under the bill, while the top one percent of wealthiest Americans would receive massive tax credits. “This plan is literally taking money from the poor and giving it to the very rich,” Oliver cracked. “It’s essentially a reverse Bernie Sanders, which is actually also the name of a sex act consisting of very aggressive fingering.”
Despite the widespread debate, President Trump has remained largely quiet about AHCA. “Trump is not clamoring to put his name on this bill,” Oliver said, “and he has put his name on some of the shittiest products in human history.”
In an effort to educate the president, Last Week Tonight recruited their old friend Catheter Cowboy for another television ad, set to air during Trump’s beloved Fox & Friends Wednesday morning in the Washington D.C area. “If my premiums go up and subsidies go down, I’m gonna wind up paying more … If that happens, millions of folks like me might get real angry, which is worth thinking about if you’re the sort of person who really likes being popular.”