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The Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan was a top news story Tuesday, so it’s not surprising that it dominated the monologues on that night’s talk shows.
In particular, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert all took on Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s much-criticized comment suggesting that under the proposed legislation, poor people might have to choose between spending money on an iPhone and spending money on health care.
On The Late Late Show, Corden looked bewildered after he aired the clip of Chaffetz making the comparison on CNN, which the host said “blew up in his face,” much like a Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
“Did I hear him correctly? Is he saying health insurance is supposed to cost the same as a phone? Hey, Jason, a phone isn’t supposed to literally cost you an arm and a leg,” said Corden, adding that Chaffetz is talking to the American people like a father might admonish his kids for not doing their chores: “Maybe if you mowed the lawns over the summer like I told you, you could afford that new kidney that you wanted.”
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host wondered, “If I give up my phone for health insurance, how will I call 911?”
Kimmel’s team also created a mock ad for the proposed American Health Care Act, comparing the cost of various health care expenses with iPhone prices (The cost of open-heart surgery is apparently same as the price of 380 iPhones and Beats by Dr. Dre wireless headphones.)
“Don’t know how many iPhones not to buy? Download the handy iPhone to health care calculator,” the fake commercial advises, ending with a mock slogan for the act, “The choice is yours. I or die.”
The Late Show‘s Colbert put a finer point on it, airing Chaffetz’s comment and then saying, “Yeah, the average cost of health insurance for a family is $25,000. So, poor folks, just stop buying 33 iPhones every year.”
Colbert devoted an extensive portion of his monologue to the Republicans’ plan, joking that the GOP “out of force of habit … voted to repeal it” and going through the differences and similarities between the American Health Care Act and the Affordable Care Act.
For instance, Colbert said the bill replaces federal subsidies with tax credits, “So everything’s going to be fine, but you’re going to have your colonoscopy at H&R Block.”
The host also took a bleak perspective on the possibility that, as Democrats argued, the bill would cover 20 million fewer people than Obamacare, wondering aloud, “I don’t know anyone who could be happy about that,” before some techno music kicked in and he was joined by a dancing Grim Reaper.
After the Grim Reaper left, Colbert continued: “Where was I? Oh yeah, we’re all going to die.”
And he found it troubling that the Republicans reportedly released the bill without estimates of its cost from the Congressional Budget Office.
“So this bill’s going to be like those fancy restaurants where they don’t have what it costs on the menu,” Colbert said before pretending to order at a restaurant. “Hmm, let’s see … I want the heart surgery. Hm, ‘market price’? You know, I’ll just stuff my chest with bread. Thank you.”
Colbert also aired another clip of a Republican lawmaker defending the plan as being like an ambulance crew showing up at the scene of an accident, tending to the injured.
“That’s not quite it,” Colbert jokingly shot back. “It’s more like an ambulance crew that hates the previous ambulance crew so much that they rip the patients out of that ambulance and put them in their own ambulance, which they are still building.”
Both Colbert and Kimmel also had fun with White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s “show-and-tell” press conference in which he repeatedly compared the number of pages in Obamacare to the Republicans’ plan, even printing out both documents in two stacks, pointing out how much smaller the American Health Care Act is.
Colbert joked: “If shorter is better, why not just a one-page plan that says ‘Walk it off.'”
Kimmel, meanwhile, suggested that the moment provided easy fodder for a Melissa McCarthy impersonation on Saturday Night Live.
“It’s like he’s writing Melissa McCarthy’s sketches for her,” the ABC late-night host said.
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