Americans now have polite words for bad things, obscene words for bad things — and HealthCare.gov.
Joel McHale talked about the role of HealthCare.gov — the enrollment website for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — in conversational English on Saturday at the White House Correspondents Association dinner.
McHale, an actor on the NBC television show “Community,” told President Obama and other dinner attendees that the launch of HealthCare.gov was a disaster.
“It was bad,” McHale said. “I don’t even have an analogy, because the website is now the thing people use to describe other bad things.
“They say stuff like, ‘Yuk, I shouldn’t have eaten all that sushi. I was up all night HealthCare.goving.’
“Or, ‘Boy, that latest Johnny Depp movie really HealthCare.goved at the box office.’
“Or, ‘Look at my new rug. Did the dog HealthCare.gov on it? You can’t get HealthCare.gov out of shag.’”
Obama got up and asked how well Obamacare will have to work before Republicans stop wanting to repeal it.
“What if everybody’s cholesterol drops to 120?” Obama asked. “What if your yearly checkup came with tickets to a Clippers game? Not the old, Donald Sterling Clippers — the new Oprah Clippers? Would that be good enough? What if they gave Mitch McConnell a pulse?”
Toward the end of the appearance, Obama set out to start a video. The video refused to play.
“I was told this would work,” Obama said. “Does anybody know how to fix this?”
Outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius showed up. “I got it,” Sebelius said. “I see it all the time. There, that should work.”
After the video played, Obama ended the appearance by saying, “Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. And God bless America, and thank you, Kathleen Sebelius.”