When Human and Health Services Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius walked into an interview on “The Daily Show,” she was probably expecting a friendly market with which she could sell Obamacare to a crucial constituency — young people.
What she got, instead, was a highly sceptical interviewer in Jon Stewart who became frustrated when he felt that she wasn’t giving him straight answers on the health-care law’s glitchy rollout. By the end of the interview, Stewart openly wondered if she was lying to him.
“We’re going to do a challenge,” Stewart said at the start of the interview. “I’m going to try and download every movie ever made, and you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare — and we’ll see which happens first.”
But Stewart’s questioning quickly turned serious, and he pressed Sebelius about the numerous glitches piling up. He also seized on a Republican talking point — that it isn’t fair for the Obama administration to delay by one year a mandate for small businesses to provide health insurance to workers but not provide delays for individuals.
“If I’m an individual that doesn’t want it, it would be hard for me to look at a big business getting a waiver and not having to do it and me having to,” Stewart said. “Because I would feel like … like you are favouring big business because they lobbied you this year, but you’re not allowing individuals that same courtesy.”
Sebelius ducked the question and repeated her talking points. She did that a few more times on his follow-ups, prompting Stewart to say, “Am I a stupid man?”
“Still not sure why individuals can’t delay. Can we come back and ask more questions?” he said, going into a commercial break.
“Sure,” she said.
“Can I ask the same one?” he said.
Sebelius also said she didn’t know exactly how many people had signed up for health insurance in the online exchanges. She said that the Obama administration would be releasing that data monthly.
Watch the full interview below: Part I:
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