On Monday, Jon Stewart’s Daily Show interview slot was filled by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. As one would imagine, the conversation that followed was not pretty. He introduced his guest as “the secretary of Obamacare and human Obamacares, Kathleen Obamacare.” In the monologue that preceded the interview, he gave a rather scornful review of the Affordable Care Act’s first week, hitting particularly hard on the ongoing technical glitches that have plagued the Web portal that links customers to the online marketplaces for the 36 states with federally facilitated exchanges.
After a brief montage that catalogued the systems glitches — particularly error messages and long waiting times — Stewart offered this indictment: Americans “will camp out all night to be the first people to buy a phone or see a movie about shirtless werewolves … but you’ve got 10 minutes to get me this f–king health care,” he said. But, that was just a lead-in to his main point. Stewart suggested that he expected more from the most tech savvy administration in history, especially when it had three years to set up the system at Healthcare.gov.
The Republican Party was not left off the hook, either: A more competent party would be able to capitalize on the political problems that Obamacare has created and maybe even “offer an alternative,” Stewart said.