Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
Last Week Tonight host John Oliver opened with a trip down memory lane illustrating how nearly every prediction Republicans made about Obamacare was completely wrong.
“If Obamacare is ever implemented and enforced, we will never recover from it,” Rep. Steve King of Iowa said in 2013.
“This bill is an affront on the moral morality of the provision of American healthcare,” Rep. Tom Price, now US Secretary of Heath, asserted in 2009.
“Obamacare is the worst piece of legislation ever,” Louisiana Rep. John Fleming stated in 2013, to which Oliver had a stunning comeback. “Worst piece of legislation ever!” the host quipped, “So, good news Fugitive Slave Act you’re finally off the hook.”
With Republicans controlling both the White House and Congress, the GOP leadership has pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare with their own system.
“And at least one [house] member is positively giddy about it,” Oliver pointed out before showing a clip of Georgia Rep. Drew Ferguson comparing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to a goat let loose in his house.
“For six years, that goat has been messing in and destroying my house. I want to renovate my house, but before I can, I have to get the goat out of the house before it does any more damage. It makes no sense to start fixing up my house until we get the goat out,” Ferguson concluded. “Voting for the fiscal year 17 budget resolution gets this goat out of my house.”
For Oliver, the metaphor was “just so specific, there’s no way it didn’t happen.”
But despite nearly seven years of railing against ACA, Republicans’ lack of a better alternative has left constituents furious—across the countries, they’re confronting GOP representatives in town halls, touting Obamacare’s life-saving results.
“Yes, apparently that annoying Obamacare goat-in-the-house turned out to be a licensed physician who’s been saving lives and a lot of people do not want her to go anywhere,” Oliver mused.
“Obamacare is not perfect,” he added. “It had and has serious flaws.”
Still, in addition to potentially saving tens of millions of lives, Obamacare resulted in America’s lowest uninsured rate in a half-century.
“Republicans have happily complained about the flaws in the law, taken no responsibility for fixing them and in fact have often undermined the whole thing. But that time is now over,” explained Oliver. “It is their turn to present a plan,” he said, “and the clock is ticking. Insurance companies are deciding right now whether to even offer Obamacare plans for next year.”
But it turns out that they’ve “got nothing,” pointed Oliver, to which he hammered, “Tick tock, motherf*ckers!”
Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.
IMAGE: Last Week Tonight / YouTube