Late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) poked fun at U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama administration's response to internet problems associated with Obamacare's sign-up website, healthcare.gov.
"A lot of folks have been talking about our new healthcare enrollment website – how it's been crashing and freezing and shutting down and stalling and not working and breaking and sucking," a parody Sebelius announces with a smile. She then proceeds to list "friendly tips" to help Americans deal with the widely-reported "glitches."
"Have you tried starting your computer?" the fake Sebelius asks nonchalantly. Going into completely unnecessary detail, she adds "sometimes it helps to turn the computer off and turn it back on." Deep in thought, the parody secretary giggles and shrugs her shoulders – "we don't know why, it just does."
"If our website still isn't loading properly, we're probably just overloaded with traffic – millions of Americans are visiting Healthcare.gov, which is great news," the fake Sebelius adds, referring to the actual Obama Administration's first explanation for the site's problems.
In a speech at the Rose Garden last week, President Obama said there is "No excuse" for the technical problems, but many have criticized him for adding "little explanation" behind the fiasco. In Colorado, for example, a state with 5.1 million people, only 226 people have been able to sign up for the exchanges.
"Unfortunately, the site was only designed to handle six users at a time," the SNL Sebelius explains, to much laughter. "So if you're in a rush, consider using our low-res website, with simpler fonts and graphics," she adds, pointing to a screen with the words "U WANT DOCTR?" complete with burning buttons for "yes," and "no."
If the regular site isn't working, the parody secretary suggests signing up in a different language "say…Icelandic!"
Joking about Obama's contraception mandate and platform supporting government-subsidized birth control, SNL also had its Sebelius point to "a number of doctor-themed pornographic websites that should help you pass the time."
The site, parody Sebelius touts, includes chat rooms with discussions of frequently asked questions (FAQs). The FAQs include "What the Hell?" "How Have I been on the same page for Three hours?" and "Does Obamacare cover mental health issues caused by using this website?"
If none of these options prove helpful, the fake secretary merely suggests sending a complaint by mail. She encourages her listeners to address it to "The U.S. Government. ATTN: Internet Problems, Washington, DC."
Mocking the efficiency of government, the skit then promises that those who send complaints with receive an informational brochure, a trial version of Encarta Encyclopedia, and one thousand free hours of AOL – products clearly neither desirable nor up to date.
"So enjoy your new healthcare system, America, and be sure to like us on Facebook!" the parody Sebelius concludes. On her screen appears a "Like" button, along with the number of people who support healthcare.gov – 3.