Thursday’s House vote by the Republican majority to repeal Obamacare sent a lot of Americans reeling with anxiety over potentially losing their health insurance or facing premium spikes of more than 750 percent. But along the corridors of Congress, the party beer was rolling in.
According to reports on Twitter from journalists like Alexandra Jaffe and Joe Scarborough, “cases upon cases” of beer were wheeled in to the Capitol as the vote, in which Republicans narrowly prevailed, was underway.
“Spotted Bug Light peeking out from the sheet,” Jaffe wrote in one tweet — later showing photos of the cart bearing the shrouded beers.
Later, the Republicans joined President Donald Trump in the White House rose garden, where the president gave a speech about the bills passing.
“How am I doing? Am I doing okay? I’m president. Hey, I’m president, can you believe it?,” Trump said to the cheers of his crowd of supporters.
Their victory struck many as odd — since the bill still needs to be passed by the Senate.
“What’s happening on the White House lawn right now would be like the Falcons celebrating their Superbowl win at halftime,” wrote Mic editor Emily C. Singer on Twitter.
“Look how happy those old white guys are,” Seth Meyers joked on Late Night. “I guess they’re just happy they finally passed something that wasn’t a kidney stone. No longer covered, by the way!”
“Right after the vote, the Republicans went over to the White House, where Donald Trump spoke about the bill in front of nation’s strategic white guy reserve,” sniffed Stephen Colbert on CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
The Republicans’ American Health Care Act (as the bill is called) is projected to take away health insurance from 24 million people; cut premiums for the healthy but raise premiums for less-healthy Americans by more than 750 percent; expose people with pre-existing conditions to prohibitively high premiums and deductibles; cut Medicaid spending by $880 billion; eliminate funds for Planned Parenthood’s women’s health screenings and treatments; and, give the wealthiest Americans a nearly $1 trillion tax cut over a decade (among other things).
TV’s late-night comics found plenty of pointed fodder in the day’s legislative news. Seth Meyers of NBC’s Late Night cracked: “House Republicans today voted on and passed an Obamacare replacement bill without knowing how much it would cost. Though I’m not surprised — they also voted on an Obama replacement without knowing the cost.”
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And, on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah broke down the ominous roll-back of Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing medical problems: “Right now, Obamacare doesn’t let insurers raise rates for people with preexisting conditions. But with this bill, their rates could go way up. And if people can’t afford their higher rates, they get thrown into something called a ‘high risk pool,’ which sounds less like an insurance plan and more like something you find in Charlie Sheen’s backyard.”
Republicans hold 52 Senate seats, but GOP moderates have been outspoken against the bill. And not a single Democrat has signaled support for the bill, which would undo a major piece of President Barack Obama’s legacy.
The bill passed in the House by a 217-203 party-line tally. If it passes the Senate, Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.