Paul Ryan whined to Seth Myers about his coverage. It was a mistake

The late-night talk show host received an email from the House speaker and you've got to see what happened next

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 9, 2017 1:34PM (EDT)

 (YouTube/Late Night with Seth Meyers)
(YouTube/Late Night with Seth Meyers)

On the "Late Show" on Monday night, host Seth Meyers revealed that he had received an email from the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan promoting the GOP's spin on the American Health Care Act. As Meyers was quick to point out, unlike how Republicans approached their Obamacare repeal bill, Meyers and his team actually read the whole email.

"Everything that Paul Ryan claimed to hate about the Obamacare process in 2009, he’s doing now," Meyers told his viewers, before playing a series of clips from years ago on with Ryan denouncing the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that the crafting of the bill was being rushed and that many in Congress had not yet read it.

Meyers (who is, remember, a chat-show host and comic entertainer) then proceeded to list the arguments about the latest Republican-sponsored health care bill from Ryan (supposedly one of the most important and wonkish politicians in the U.S.) as well as how Meyers would respond to them. It was rich.

At one point, Ryan's email contested the notion that deliberations over the AHCA bill had been rushed, arguing that, "this bill has been online for a month, went through four House committees, and the only change this week was a simple three-page amendment."

Meyers disputed this analysis as, "misleading for a number of reasons," including the fact that a three-page amendment was what had prompted many Republicans to support the new bill. Meyers also noted that Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had complained that the bill had been  rushed through.

In addition, Meyers drew attention to Ryan's claim that the bill, "does not only cut taxes on wealthier Americans. The bill repeals all of Obamacare's taxes." As Meyers pointed out, however, the fact that some people will experience lowered taxes doesn't change the fact that wealthy Americans would disproportionately benefit from the tax cuts offered by the American Health Care Act.

Finally, Meyers took Ryan to task for defending the AHCA's provision that would let states permit insurance companies to discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions. Ryan had argued that this would be negated by the fact that the bill required insurance companies to set up high-risk pools, but as Meyers pointed out, high-risk pools for older and sicker people historically "have provided worse coverage at much higher costs."

Meyers didn't mince words in his closing argument, saying, "The bottom line is this: Republicans rushed this bill through for ideological reasons, despite the fact that every analysis shows it would cut taxes for the wealthy; raise premiums for older, sicker people; and kick millions off insurance."

He then closed the segment by showing President Donald Trump unintentionally admit that Australia's more left-wing health care system is in fact superior to the less generous one that exists in the United States right now.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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