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  • Jon Stewart Forces Secretary Sebelius to Sweat Obamacare's Details

    Monday on The Daily Show, comedian Jon Stewart interviewed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The Secretary didn’t escape the hot seat in what turned out to be an interesting discussion regarding the implementation of Obamacare.

    One notable topic covered during the interview was the surprise proposal by HHS to let states determine their own definitions of “essential health benefits.” Obamacare explicitly instructs HHS to fill in the details of the legislation’s mandatory minimum benefit package, but as the Galen Institute’s John Hoff previously noted in a Heritage writing, “Although HHS can, of course, produce a piece of paper (or, more likely, hundreds of pages of regulation) purporting to define the term, in reality this will not provide the real-world uniformity of coverage contemplated by [Obamacare]. HHS has an impossible task.”

    It seems HHS agrees that it has an impossible task and is now looking for a way to stick somebody else with the problem. Sebelius claims that letting states define benefits will give them flexibility. But in reality, all that would do is intensify the existing special-interest lobbying in state capitols for more mandated health insurance coverage—driving the cost of coverage under Obamacare even higher.

    In a second installment, Stewart questioned Sebelius about whether or not employers would be inclined to “dump” their employees in the new health care exchanges and pay the new penalty instead. “Is the penalty more than the [cost of] insurance?” Stewart asked. Sebelius responded, “The penalty will help pay for the tax credit that the employee will get in the insurance.” Extensive research does a better job of answering the question. The cost of the new Obamacare subsidies will not be covered by the fines collected from employer penalties. The facts show that some employers will be able to come out ahead even after paying the penalty and increasing workers’ cash compensation to make up for the lost health benefits.

    Stewart then posed this question:

    Do you think ultimately this is, a bunch of people dump to the exchange, and it becomes sort of a back door, of government, not a takeover necessarily, but of a government responsibility for the health care, employees, and it decouples it—I’m not saying that’s a bad thing—but decouples it from employment, and people will get it through the government—through tax credits, rather than through their employers—and then suddenly, obviously then, we’re Sweden. Do you think that’s the case?

    Well, Jon, America may not be Sweden yet, but it’s getting a lot closer under Obamacare.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Jon Stewart Forces Secretary Sebelius to Sweat Obamacare's Details

    1. PaulC37 says:

      RE freshing to hear the truth after so long they denied it. However its not in the major media yet.

    2. John says:

      It will make the major media ony when it gets so loud and smelly that even they can no longer ignore it. The big question; does this happen before or after it gets fully implimented, assuming that Obama gets a second term or if the new president is unable or suddenly unwilling to repeal the bill?

    3. Not holding to much hope that those who think the sun shines from Obamad $$ will suddenly wake up but its a refreshing surprise to see some truth come out from 'main stream'media. when rationing begins they can't say they werent warned.

      • Bob From District 9 says:

        We already have rationing. When you don't have insurance you only get emergency care. IOW, a hospital has to let you in to die, but it doesn't have to treat the disease that's going to kill you.

    4. Tony Loving says:

      I give it to Stewart on this one. This is the only way the liberal zombies will hear the truth about Obamacare. There's only one network (FOX) that will tell you the truth and not only will the kool-aid drinkers not watch it, but Sebelius wouldn't go on there to have any serious questions asked of her in the first place…

    5. Verto999 says:

      Ah, no it's Sweden! Those Socialists.

      ANNUAL growth as high as 6.4% in the first quarter. Unemployment falling fast. The budget in surplus this year. Public debt heading to below 40% of GDP.

      In health care ratings, Sweden comes out top or very close to it in worldwide rankings. The OECD found that the U.S. ranked poorly in terms of Years of potential life lost and we were placed 41st in health care in ranking.

      Sweden has reduced its debt burden since the global financial crisis started in 2007, and will post a 0.1 percent budget surplus this year and be in balance next, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecast yesterday. The economy surged 5.6 percent in 2010, which was the most in the European Union.

      • Mariana says:

        And the $100 million dollar question is: Which President increased the U.S. national debt to OVER 100% of GDP? Can you spell O-B-A-M-A?

    6. Dan says:

      with end of life counseling and managed care why don't we call it what it is" shovel-ready " health care

    7. Bob From District 9 says:

      Well, Sweden or Switzerland? Sweden spends about 9% of GDP on health care, Switzerland 12%. Sweden is single payer, Switzerland use private insurance companies.

      The US is nearing 20% of GDP on health care, with a much mixed system. The difference is $1trillion/yr against Switzerland's 12%, or about $1.5trillion/yr against Sweden's single payer system.

      Gee… how much would $1trillion/yr pay for?

      And how many thousands of infants die in the US who would not die if they had the Swedish system of health care?

      • Mariana110 says:

        Country Area Population_
        _Sweden 174,000 sq. miles 9.3 million__
        Switzerland 15,940 sq. miles 7.9 million _
        _U.S.A 3,794,083. sq. miles 313,837,465.0 million___

        Can we say that we are comparing apples and oranges?
        I have relatives in Germany, where the health care system is similar to the two very small countries above, and I can report the following:__A 57 year old woman who was diagnosed with colon cancer survived only 1 1/2 after diagnosis because she had to wait so long for an appointment that by the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had metastasized.

    8. Mariana110 says:

      No infants die in the U.S.A. for lack of medical care! Have you ever heard of Medicaid? The U.S.A. includes stillbirths and miscarriages in the infant mortality figures, which other countries do not do. Prenatal care is FREE through Health Care clinics, as is infant care. Negligence on women who fail to seek prenatal care or health care for an infant is no ones fault but their own.

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