Jon Stewart wants Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to answer only one question: why do big businesses get a one-year delay of Obamacare implementation and individuals don’t?
Sebelius was the featured guest on Monday night’s episode of The Daily Show, and the host grilled her — for more than 5 minutes — about the apparent favoritism the Obama administration has showed to corporations with lobbyists.
“I think a very legitimate criticism of this is that businesses were given a delay of a year, but that individuals were not given that option,” Stewart said. “Why is that?”
Instead of directly answering the host, Sebelius tried to squirm her way out of the question. Stewart wasn’t giving up, however, asking about people who didn’t even want to buy into Obamacare and therefore felt like HHS was favoring big businesses. In particular, he asked about people who will be put in a tough spot financially because of paying for a healthcare plan — or even just paying the fine.
“But there are people who will end up in difficult times having to spend money they would not have spent, yes?” Stewart pressed. “To buy healthcare if they did not have it, if they did not want it?”
“There are — there are people who will — yes, pay money,” the Secretary said after a slight pause. “And many of them will pay less than they pay for their cable bill or their cell phone bill a month.”
And when the interview came to accusations that Obamacare is a job killer, as evidenced by retailers selling stores or cutting employees’ hours due to the requirements of the healthcare law, Sebelius brushed off the inconvenient facts.
“At least the economists — not anecdotal folks — economists say there is absolutely no evidence that part-time work is going up,” she said, ignoring the fact that 97 percent of jobs created in the first six months of this year were part-time. “In fact, it’s going down.”
Stewart also mocked Sebelius slightly for the glitches in the HealthCare.gov website.
“I’m going to try and download every movie ever made, and you’re going to try to sign up for Obamacare — and we’ll see which happens first,” Stewart challenged.
“It started a little rockier than we’d like,” the Secretary admitted later.
Watch the interview below, because there’s so much more.
BONUS: At the end, Stewart still doesn’t know why individuals don’t get a one-year delay.