Jon Stewart vs. Obamacare

 

I’m not a Jon Stewart fan. And, after last night, neither is Kathleen Sebelius.

The liberal comedian eschewed his nightly routine of making funny faces after awkward Fox News clips and instead interviewed the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Stewart was armed with a couple of common-sense questions that left the star-struck Sebelius bewildered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCXNeHmx9Qw

Stewart opened the interview with a hit on the technical glitches. “We’re going to do a challenge,” he said. “I’m going to try and download every movie ever made, you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare. We’ll see which happens first.”

When Sebelius responded with a bloodless recitation of talking points, Stewart asked her how many people had signed up to date. “Fully enrolled?” she said, “I can’t tell you because I don’t know.”

Then, shockingly, Stewart seemed to hit Obamacare from the right:

If I’m if an individual I’m wondering — well, an individual who doesn’t want this because there are individuals clearly that want this — but if I’m an individual that doesn’t want it, it would be hard for me to look at big business getting a waiver and not having to do it and me having to… I would feel like you are favoring big business because they lobbied you to delay it because they didn’t want to do this year, but you are not allowing individuals that same courtesy.

Oddly, Sebelius implied that individuals could access that same big-business waiver if they just “pay a fine.” After a clumsy back-and-forth, Stewart summarized Obamacare in a way that every tea partier would agree with: “what you’re saying to the American people is, some of you will face a penalty for the greater good.”

Lest you think Jon Stewart is morphing into Glenn Beck, he revealed his real concern (highlighted here by Ricochet member Western Chauvinist):

It’s frustrating to have to defend something that’s less than ideal or is functioning at a level of incompetence that is larger than it should be… I don’t understand the idea of staying with a market-based solution for a problem where people can’t be smart consumers.

In other words, “why can’t we skip this annoying intermediate step and move straight to single-payer healthcare?”

Considering The Daily Show’s young, left-leaning audience — the precise cohort Obamacare needs to sign up in droves — Sebelius’ interview is a surprising gaffe. Stewart recognized that as he closed the broadcast: “I still don’t understand why individuals have to sign up and businesses don’t… I think to myself, well, maybe she’s just lying to me.”

She is, Jon. She is.

There are 35 comments.

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  1. Casey Inactive

    But then if when then but later if when then if but else if shop then if but then…

    • #1
    • October 8, 2013, at 11:13 AM PDT
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  2. Crow's Nest Inactive

    Wow, that didn’t take long.

    Less than a week into Obamacare, and already Jon Stewart is making the argument for the Left wing of the Democratic party and universal, single payer health care.

    By the way, I hope some clever folks up at RNC-central are paying attention. 

    We might start our response by never again using the congenial and just-obfuscatory enough term “single payer” and instead saying “Government dominated health care” or the like.

    – Cross posted from Western Chauvinist’s Member Feed post.

    • #2
    • October 8, 2013, at 11:30 AM PDT
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  3. CuriousKevmo Member
    Crow’s Nest

    We might start our response by never again using the congenial and just-obfuscatory enough term “single payer” and instead saying “Government dominated health care” or the like.

    Edited 0 minutes ago

    yes please, it is so infuriating how good the progs are at this little trick and how bad we are at it.

    It isn’t single payer, it’s government healthcare.

    • #3
    • October 8, 2013, at 11:34 AM PDT
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  4. aardo vozz Member

    Jon Stewart is quoted as saying: “It’s frustrating to have to defend something that’s less than ideal or is functioning at a level of incompetence that is larger than it should be…”

    So… What level of incompetence does Jon Stewart think would be ok?

    • #4
    • October 8, 2013, at 11:41 AM PDT
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  5. Western Chauvinist Member

    I’m not the only one to notice the Left has done it again. It’s completely corrupted the term “marketplace.” Now the Obamacare Health Insurance “Marketplace” is where you go to comply with the government’s mandate that you buy a product you may not want, for a price you’d rather not pay, subsidized by other people’s money you haven’t earned.

    But, yeah, the Left is all for liberty, so long as it involves sex without attachments and consequences and a made-up “right” to murder your offspring. 

    I want a Right/Left divorce. We have irreconcilable differences.

    • #5
    • October 8, 2013, at 11:53 AM PDT
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  6. Crow's Nest Inactive
    aardo vozz: Jon Stewart is quoted as saying: “It’s frustrating to have to defend something that’s less than ideal or is functioning at a level of incompetence that is larger than it should be…”

    So… What level of incompetence does Jon Stewart think would be ok? · 1 minute ago

    Yes, exactly. Because the rest of the government “runs” optimally like a well-oiled machine all the time…..its only in this one area that there’s ever a backup…..

    Or, well, there might be some problems here, oh and over here too, or here, here, and here…..hrm…..I’m beginning to see a trend…..well, at least things are working precisely as designed here.

    • #6
    • October 8, 2013, at 11:54 AM PDT
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  7. Danny Alexander Member

    Incidentally, what Sebelius said on the Stewart program about “just pay[ing] a fine” is an interesting slip of the tongue. (Not sure if anyone’s pointed it out on the thread yet — apologies if so.)

    John Roberts’ triangulation, as I understood it, was that the party line should be “just pay a *tax*” in order to pretend that this whole scheme is Constitutional.

    I know I’m dreaming in technicolor here, but might this Sebelian slip provide an opening to re-litigate, and re-litigate right away at the SCOTUS level?

    • #7
    • October 9, 2013, at 1:01 AM PDT
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  8. KatRose Inactive

    Danny, I also thought that was quite a slip. Maybe we should start calling Obamacare “premiums” Obamacare tax payments for health insurance.

    • #8
    • October 9, 2013, at 1:06 AM PDT
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  9. CuriousKevmo Member
    Danny Alexander: I know I’m dreaming in technicolor here, but might this Sebelian slip provide an opening to re-litigate, and re-litigate right away at the SCOTUS level? · 4 minutes ago

    I’d suspect not, but I like where your heads at.

    • #9
    • October 9, 2013, at 1:07 AM PDT
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  10. Douglas Inactive
    EstoniaKat: I would like someone to elucidate to me why single-payer healthcare is evil. Because I have it. And it works well. · 54 minutes ago

    Because health care isn’t a right, anymore than a car or a house is. Because government always screws up anything it touches outside of a few core responsibilities. Because government involvement always becomes government micromanagement.

    • #10
    • October 9, 2013, at 1:08 AM PDT
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  11. CuriousKevmo Member

    I liked how she acted like the penalty was a feature. As though the house of cards doesn’t crumble if lots of young ones take “advantage” of that option.

    • #11
    • October 9, 2013, at 1:13 AM PDT
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  12. Vance Richards Member

    All great points, and 4 can not be stressed enough.

    As to point 2, how many of the drugs, devices, procedures, etc. available in Estonia were invented, designed, discovered by Estonians working in Estonia? Or do government run health systems rely on free market countries to provide them with healthcare technology?

    CuriousKevmo
    EstoniaKat: I would like someone to elucidate to me why single-payer healthcare is evil. Because I have it. And it works well. · 30 minutes ago

    1. The best and brightest no longer go into medicine because the rewards aren’t there.

    2. Innovation all but stops or at least slows to a government crawl because the rewards aren’t there.

    3. Having to wait for a procedure

    4. Everything government runs sucks

    5. Knowing that dispensation of health care will become political

    6. Knowing that any sort of private health care will be outlawed

    7. inefficiencies abound. Education and Health Care are the two industries most dominated by government. They are the most expensive and least effective of our industries.

    8. Oh, and suggesting I have a right to health care essentially means doctors, nurses, janitors etc. can be enslaved.

    I could go on… · 24 minutes ago

    • #12
    • October 9, 2013, at 1:25 AM PDT
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  13. SEnkey Inactive

    Small homogeneous states can more than handle single payer.

    Canada is 76% white and 14% asian (not to get into demographics but when your dominant minority is made up of asian immigrants it’s a formula for success), and has a population of 33 million. A tenth the size of the US. 

    The UK is 92% white with a population of 63 million, a fifth the size of the US. 

    Australia is 85% white with 26 million. 

    Norway is 87% white with a population of just 5 million. They also have immense oil wealth. 

    Estonia is 70% Estonian (and 24% Russian) with a population just over a million. With numbers this small I am not even sure how robust an Estonian insurance market would be. 

    The United States is 70% white but with a population of 316 million, the third most populous country in the world. 

    Consider the countries with single payer. Is it the most efficient system? Does it guarantee the best patient outcomes? Are larger costs being passed on to the tax base that could be reduced if paid by individuals? Is innovation still present? 

    • #13
    • October 9, 2013, at 2:02 AM PDT
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  14. Spin Coolidge

    Are you the single payer? If not, then it’s evil because you don’t pay for your own health care. I’m for the single-payer system where the single-payer is the guy who goes to the doctor. The only thing broken about health care system is insurance.

    EstoniaKat: I would like someone to elucidate to me why single-payer healthcare is evil. Because I have it. And it works well. · 44 minutes ago
    • #14
    • October 9, 2013, at 2:06 AM PDT
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  15. SEnkey Inactive

    Perhaps there are some states in our Union that may choose to look at single payer. Nebraska, Utah, or Idaho may be ideal candidates. Small states with a mostly homogeneous population. The reason these states have not turned to this option is not because they fear being ridiculed as socialist. If the change worked and saved them money I am sure more states would do it. They reason they have not explored this route is because the market provides cheaper solutions that benefit the maximum number of people.

    States with very little regulation led to insurance companies providing cheaper plans. The answer to our problem is not more regulation, but a broadening of the market. Open the insurance market across state borders. I know this is destructive towards federalism if the US government mandates it. But I don’t see why more states aren’t trying to work together on this. What if the red states agreed to reciprocal policies: we will honor and allow you to sell your insurance here, and vice versa. This would, IMHO, immediately drive down costs as more competition is introduced.

    • #15
    • October 9, 2013, at 2:09 AM PDT
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  16. SEnkey Inactive

    Estonia Kat,

    Thank you for your comment, it led to an enlightening conversation for me as I read the comments of others. I hope you haven’t been scared off. I would love to hear more of your perspective as someone who uses single payer.

    • #16
    • October 9, 2013, at 2:11 AM PDT
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  17. Jordan Inactive

    Single payer is fine as long as you don’t need any kind of specialized care. Then the fun begins.

    And again, I would like to reiterate that health insurance coverage has nothing to do with Health Care. It’s just about the money, and the government would like you to believe that they know how to spend it better than you do.

    The problem with health care isn’t insurance; it’s the cost. The current insurance model exacerbates the accelerating rate of health care costs, since the consumer of health care isn’t directly exposed to the costs of the care used. A real solution to the problem of high health care costs isn’t to simply force everyone to overpay on health care. That is the exact opposite of what will help. If anything should just have whatever private insurance they can negotiate with their provider, or better yet, a HSA.

    • #17
    • October 9, 2013, at 5:13 AM PDT
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  18. Charlotte Member

    It’s frustrating to have to defend something

    Well, here’s a thought, Jon. Stop defending it!

    • #18
    • October 9, 2013, at 5:42 AM PDT
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  19. Cato Rand Reagan
    CuriousKevmo
    Crow’s Nest

    We might start our response by never again using the congenial and just-obfuscatory enough term “single payer” and instead saying “Government dominated health care” or the like.

    Edited 0 minutes ago

    yes please, it is so infuriating how good the progs are at this little trick and how bad we are at it.

    It isn’t single payer, it’s government healthcare. · 8 hours ago

    It’s “socialized medicine.” That’s the term they’re trying to evade.

    • #19
    • October 9, 2013, at 7:39 AM PDT
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  20. Cato Rand Reagan
    3rd angle projection
    EstoniaKat: I would like someone to elucidate to me why single-payer healthcare is evil. Because I have it. And it works well. · 0 minutes ago

    How big is your country? · 7 hours ago

    That’s really the issue EK. There’s good evidence that some socialized programs function without massive depression of incentives to work and produce when its on a small, ethnically homogenous basis. I literally suspect its biological or evolutionary. Basically, if we’re closely enough connected to people, we’ll tolerate them mooching off of us. It just breaks down in a massive, diverse society. Resentment builds and with it the inclination, at the margin, to stop pulling the cart and get in it.

    • #20
    • October 9, 2013, at 7:45 AM PDT
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  21. Scott Abel Member
    Stuart Enkey: Estonia Kat,

    Thank you for your comment, it led to an enlightening conversation for me as I read the comments of others. I hope you haven’t been scared off. I would love to hear more of your perspective as someone who uses single payer. · 18 hours ago

    I don’t scare easily. Just went to bed. ;)

    I am in total agreement about the scalability issue, and don’t think it would work in the United States.

    But it does work here quite satisfactorily, and to the person who asked what has been invented here, we have an electronic e-health care system that is a world envy. Countries are rolling into here to study it and implement their own, and I know some people in Maryland are also talking to us.

    On the issue of other systems, I know second-hand that the Finnish or Swedish systems, which are similar to ours but larger – it’s almost impossible to see a doctor without paying for it yourself out-of-pocket. Most patient-doctor relationships are actually patient-nurse.

    • #21
    • October 9, 2013, at 8:56 AM PDT
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  22. Profile Photo Member

    The best part of the story: A few hours after Kathleen Sebelius appeared on Jon Stewart’s show, The Daily Show‘s website stopped working. That woman is a menace!

    • #22
    • October 9, 2013, at 9:08 AM PDT
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  23. Cato Rand Reagan
    EstoniaKat

    On the issue of other systems, I know second-hand that the Finnish or Swedish systems, which are similar to ours but larger – it’s almost impossible to see a doctor without paying for it yourself out-of-pocket. Most patient-doctor relationships are actually patient-nurse.

    We’re moving in the direction of more care being provided by nurses and physician’s assistants in the US as well. It’s one of the few positive steps our system is making toward controlling costs. And it makes sense. Nurses were always undervalued but the reality of nursing today is that more and more, especially “advanced practice nurses,” are extremely highly educated and trained. PAs are also highly educated and trained, and typically specialize in a practice area where they work with a physician specialist. All my experiences with such people is that they’re extremely knowledgeable and give great care at less cost. Medicine is like most fields — it’s economical to delegate what can be delegated to lower cost personnel.

    • #23
    • October 9, 2013, at 9:13 AM PDT
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  24. SEnkey Inactive
    Jordan Wiegand: Single payer is fine as long as you don’t need any kind of specialized care. Then the fun begins.

    And again, I would like to reiterate that health insurance coverage has nothing to do with Health Care. It’s just about the money, and the government would like you to believe that they know how to spend it better than you do.

    The problem with health care isn’t insurance; it’s the cost. The current insurance model exacerbates the accelerating rate of health care costs, since the consumer of health care isn’t directly exposed to the costs of the care used. A real solution to the problem of high health care costs isn’t to simply force everyone to overpay on health care. That is the exact opposite of what will help. If anything should just have whatever private insurance they can negotiate with their provider, or better yet, a HSA. · 4 hours ago

    This. 

    • #24
    • October 9, 2013, at 10:11 AM PDT
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  25. Western Chauvinist Member

    I have not had good experiences with PAs and the docs in my family seem to prefer the training and experience of NPs over PAs, just as a friendly heads up.

    I’d be interested to know which of the two the Ricodocs recommend once care by MDs becomes inaccessible. 

    • #25
    • October 9, 2013, at 11:10 AM PDT
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  26. Spin Coolidge

    Wait, I’m supposed to be excited that Jon Stewart is saying that because some of us (the right) don’t want a single-payer system, Obamacare is a screw up? I’m supposed to like the interview here because he blames the chaos caused by Obamacare on me? Say again, over?

    • #26
    • October 9, 2013, at 12:02 PM PDT
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  27. Scott Abel Member

    I would like someone to elucidate to me why single-payer healthcare is evil. Because I have it. And it works well.

    • #27
    • October 9, 2013, at 12:05 PM PDT
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  28. Profile Photo Member
    EstoniaKat: I would like someone to elucidate to me why single-payer healthcare is evil. Because I have it. And it works well. · 0 minutes ago

    How big is your country?

    • #28
    • October 9, 2013, at 12:15 PM PDT
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  29. KC Mulville Inactive
    Oddly, Sebelius implied that individuals could access that same big-business waiver if they just “pay a fine.”

    You’re free to do what we don’t want, but you have to pay up either way.

    If that strikes you as illogical, just know that every parent who has to pay for public school in addition to Catholic school has had to deal with that “logic” for years. (Or a property owner who has no children …)

    Go ahead and go elsewhere if you don’t like what we’re offering … but you have to pay us anyway. That logic only works if you already assume that education, or healthcare, is a civil right that government is duty-bound to fulfill, rather than a service offered by providers to paying customers.

    So when Sibelius responds that way, she’s revealing that she already has the mindset and assumptions that belong to government-controlled and -dispensed healthcare, not a market.

    And that’s why when she mouths the words “marketplace,” it comes out so false and phony. If she knew what the word “market” really meant, she wouldn’t be saying those other things.

    • #29
    • October 9, 2013, at 12:29 PM PDT
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  30. Casey Inactive
    EstoniaKat: I would like someone to elucidate to me why single-payer healthcare is evil. Because I have it. And it works well. 

    Define works.

    At the doctor-patient level it likely works fine. At that level really any system works fine.

    But every level placed above the doctor-patient level adds a layer of complexity and inefficiency.

    Rube Goldberg and I can both turn on the tea kettle. But my way is better.

    • #30
    • October 9, 2013, at 12:30 PM PDT
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