Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Medicaid Gap
November 4, 2015 5:13 PM - Season 2, Episode 32 - Subscribe

This week... John Kerry holds a conference in Vienna to try to get Syria to reach an agreement with rebels, but while delegates from 20 nations show up, neither Syria nor the rebels attend. "Chewbacca" is arrested in Ukraine for campaigning on behalf of "Darth Vader," who is running for mayor there. In the UK, the threatened removal of tax credits for the poor are thwarted by an unlikely benefactor: the House of Lords. And Now: The Inevitable, Sad Consequences Of Morning Show Anchors Celebrating Halloween. The main story: 2015 state elections determine whether more states will opt out of expanding Medicaid to their residents. YouTube (14m) And Now: Oh Sweet Jesus, They've Put The Weather Forecasters In Costumes Too. Finally, China attempts to gain control over shipping lanes in the South China Sea by claiming sovereignty over artificial islands, a situation that has become tensely volatile and a potential cause for war. In an attempt to introduce some reason, Last Week Tonight brought on Kenny G (unexpectedly popular in China) to sing a song about it.

Syria: "Until 2011, a pretty nice name for a baby girl."
Ukraine: "A nation, like the human appendix and your grandma Mimi, you only really hear about if something's gone horribly wrong."
The United Kingdom: "Where I am fondly known as: 'Who?'"
Electons: "The only excuse for a grown man to kiss a stranger's baby and not have the cops called."
China: "A 3.7 million square mile panda fuck-pad."

"Lord Pervis of Tweed"
"A Taste of Dick Black"
posted by JHarris (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I really should keep up with news there more often, but I can't believe China is pulling all that crazy shit.
posted by numaner at 8:50 AM on November 5, 2015

Honestly? The main piece was too light on the either structural issues or political background that goes into the Medicaid funding problem for my taste.

It seems recently that he's veered more into "let me tell you about a human-interest case that's an example of the problem" as opposed what I appreciated about much of his earlier work which was "let me use the fact that I've got 20 minutes to go into detail about a specific, otherwise difficult-to capture-in-a-two-minute-morning-news-story issue".

Not saying that the examples he gives are edge cases, but if it's a problem that affects millions, I (personally - though I might be the outlier here instead of the other way 'round...) think that the focus on individual cases trivializes the scope of the issue...
posted by Seeba at 9:31 AM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

I could've done without Mr. Oliver shouting over Mr. G at the end, since I really think his work speaks for itself, but I was delighted to learn about this excellent Chinese musical custom. I think I'll set up an alarm to play "Going Home" when it's time to leave work every day.

And boy, was it sad to watch this after the elections had already taken place. It's not like Mississippi was a surprise, but oh, Kentucky. I wish I could watch this show on Sunday nights so I'd have a better shot at getting to the show before the weekend after it airs.
posted by asperity at 3:17 PM on November 9, 2015

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