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Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah Try to Make Sense of Health Care Bill Process That Makes No Sense

Yesterday, Senate Republicans (and not even all of them) voted to move forward with debate on repealing and/or replacing the Affordable Care Act, which they will have to accomplish within 20 hours of work. That goal came as some surprise to those of us who remember that Republicans have been failing for years to come up with a better health care system—including some of our favorite politically-minded late night hosts.

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On The Late Show and The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah tried to make sense of the senseless. No matter what you think of the Republican plan to repeal the ACA and replace it with something that doesn’t do anything to make health care more affordable for anyone who really needs it, it’s hard to deny that the process we’re going through to get there is ridiculous and underhanded all in itself.

Not only are Republicans trying to jam it through under the “budget reconciliation” process that allows them to only need 50 votes (plus one from Mike Pence)—which they’re exploiting because they could never get this to 60 votes—but every version of the bill is more shrouded in secrecy than the last. Now, we’re at a point where there really isn’t one, and what the final bill actually entails will wind up being decided by the amendments proposed during this process and which ones can get the votes they need to be added in.

Even Republican Senator John McCain himself took that process to task in a speech to the Senate … just after he’d voted to continue it yesterday.

McCain’s words decrying partisan politics and asking everyone to reach across the aisle rang a little hollow after voting in favor of a process that has been driven by extreme partisanship, with the entire Republican brand hinging on “repeal Obamacare” and/or tearing down President Obama’s legacy for years.

That’s a stark contrast with the process for the ACA, which was incredibly public, lasted for a much longer span of time, and saw many Republican amendments to the bill, for better or worse, only to still not get any of them to vote for it. If the Senate approves whatever bill comes out of this effort, they’ll then have to hash out any differences between their bill and the House bill with the House in a conference, and Republicans are already trying to use that as yet another tool to get people to vote in favor just so they can move the process along.

Some of them are trying to get colleagues to support a “skinny repeal” now, in order to keep the process alive and get their full legislation put in place during the conference with the House—despite that some who might go for that “skinny repeal” would almost certainly be against whatever version came out of the conference. That just makes McCain’s words seem even more disingenuous. Any attempt to move this process along the way it’s been going is ultimately a step towards giving the worst actors involved everything they want, and denying that is giving political cover to their enablers. If anyone really has an objection to this nonsense, they should vote against it every step of the way.

(featured image: CBS/Comedy Central)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.