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On Oct. 1, the Obama administration launched the Affordable Care Act website, Healthcare.gov. Since then, the site has experienced more than a few so-called technical difficulties — which is bad for Americans trying to buy health insurance, but great for late-night hosts, who have made much comedic hay out of the ongoing rollout.
Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel have all skewered the web portal’s issues (and subsequent statements from the president on how to fix them) as the administration and government contractors race to resolve them.
Here’s a collection of some of the sharpest comedic barbs aimed at the website and President Obama:
“All the Democrats have to do to gain, like, an 80 percent to 20 percent advantage in this country, all that stands in their way, is a mildly competent implementation of the healthcare policy they battled so hard to keep,” Stewart figured on Monday during an intro segment devoted to the topic. It went downhill from there.
“When did the president of the United States turn into Gil from The Simpsons?” he asked.
“Millions of Americans can’t get health insurance. The Obamacare website is a disaster and I’m loving it,” said the faux-conservative host on Wednesday.
At one point, Colbert played a clip from President Obama’s remarks where he promised a “tech surge” to fix the issue. “Yes, a tech surge, just like our Afghan surge — which means we’ll almost have it fixed in 12 years,” the Comedy Central host quipped.
“Some pundits are comparing President Obama pushing Obamacare to a late-night pitchman on an infomercial,” O’Brien remarked on Tuesday. “When reached for comment, Obama said, ‘That’s not true — but don’t take my word for it, just ask some of these satisfied customers.’ “
“It’s so bad that today President Obama held a press conference to address the issue, and he was like, ‘We’ll do our best to fix these technical problems … these technical problems … these technical problems … the teleprompter’s busted,” Fallon joked Tuesday.
He added: “But don’t worry, the White House just announced that it’s bringing in the ‘best and brightest’ tech experts to fix the glitches on the Obamacare website. That’s a good plan. But you know what would’ve been a better plan? Hiring the best and brightest tech experts to make the Obamacare website.”
“Today, there were more problems with the website,” the Tonight Show host noted on Tuesday. “It seems when you type in your age, it’s confusing because it’s not clear if they want the age you are right now or the age you’ll be when you finally log in.”
Leno elaborated: “Here’s my favorite part: The president said yesterday that if it’s taking too long and you’re having trouble you can bypass the website and enroll by mail. Only the federal government could come up with a website that’s slower than sending something by mail. Isn’t that amazing?”
On Monday, the ABC host played footage of an audience member growing faint during the president’s address before being steadied by Obama. “There you go, now that’s Obamacare: As long as you get sick in the presence of the president, you’re covered,” Kimmel quipped.
He later played a mock call-waiting prompt from the Affordable Care Act hotline: “Right now there are 8 million people ahead of you in line. Your estimated wait time is … forever.”
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