Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius likely thought her interview with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” Monday night would be an easy setting to pitch the Obamacare exchanges to young people. Instead, she ended up getting accused of being a liar by the popular comedy host.
During his interview with Sebelius, Stewart repeatedly sought an answer from the secretary on why big businesses got a delay in their Obamacare mandate to provide affordable health insurance to their employees, while individuals did not get a delay in their Obamacare mandate making them purchase health care or face a penalty.
In a rare monologue at the end of the show, Stewart said he remained confused and that he suspected that the secretary may have been lying to him.
“I still don’t understand why individuals have to sign up and businesses don’t, because if the businesses — if she’s saying, ‘well, they get a delay because that doesn’t matter anyway because they already give health care,’ then you think to yourself, ‘bleep it, then why do they have to sign up at all,’” he said. “And then I think to myself, ‘well, maybe she’s just lying to me.’”
During the interview, Stewart said criticism over the seeming double standard was “very legitimate.”
“But 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 because I would think, ‘geez, it looks like because I don’t have a lobbying group,’” he told Sebelius. “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.”