The federal government's faulty health care website has been a source of major embarrassment for President Obama. Now he has an added problem: Television comedians are deriding the website as a big joke.
The latest example came last weekend when Saturday Night Live opened the show with a skit mocking the healthcare.gov rollout. Actress Kate McKinnon, impersonating Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, said, "A lot of folks have been talking about our health care enrollment website. Now it's been crashing and freezing and shutting down and stalling and not working and breaking and sucking. ...
"Millions of Americans are visiting healthcare.gov, which is great news. Unfortunately, the site was only designed to handle six users at a time."
The Sebelius character offered a few tips for people trying to apply for health care under the new program. Among them were "restarting your computer," and "signing up in a different language." The skit ended with the Sebelius character starting to warn consumers not to do certain things on the website "or you will die," only to have the screen suddenly freeze, abruptly ending her message.
Earlier, comedian Jay Leno gave a new name to Obamacare: "Obamacrash." David Letterman came up with his own dig, asking his studio audience, "How many of you are only here because you had some trouble signing up for Obamacare, and instead you got tickets to this show?"
And the usually pro-Democrat Jon Stewart, on his "Daily Show," cited media reports of Obamacare web site "glitches ... page freezes ... confusing error messages ... broken calculators ... faulty data." He portrayed the rollout as a huge failure and added: "So how are the Democrats going to spin this turd?"
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Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at email@example.com and on Facebook and Twitter.