Welcoming Kathleen Sebelius to “The Daily Show” Monday night, host Jon Stewart told President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services to explain the massive health care overhaul in 30 seconds.
“If you could tell us how, against all odds, the Affordable Care Act of American Obamas has saved America,” Mr. Stewart said. “Go.”
Maintaining a serious tone, Mrs. Sebelius highlighted two key aspects of the law she frequently invokes: 2.5 million more young people are insured and Americans with preexisting conditions can get coverage through high-risk pools.
But she laughed at Mr. Stewart’s incredulity after she explained a new requirement that insurers spend 80 cents of every dollar on benefits instead of overhead.
“It’s so confusing and just to hear you describe it as a pathway to 80 cents just says to me we need to get you out on weekends to movies,” Mr. Stewart said. “They are killing you down there in Washington.”
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In a 15-minute interview, Mr. Stewart drilled Mrs. Sebelius on various aspects of the law, including new essential benefits plans must cover and states’ roles in implementing the law. He also asked her what the administration will do if the Supreme Court deems the law’s centerpiece—an individual mandate that Americans obtain health insurance—unconstitutional.
Mrs. Sebelius said she’ll keep moving forward with the rest of the law.
“I think we’d keep going, we’d find ways to encourage people to become enrolled and become insured,” Mrs. Sebelius said. “The mandate is the fastest way to do it and it basically says everybody’s got responsibility but there are other ways to encourage people to come in.”