HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was interviewed by Jon Stewart last night, and she didn’t sound terribly confidant. Or convincing.
Stewart isn’t an easy interview, but he is a sympathetic interview on a topic like health care reform.
Jon Stewart to HHS Secretary Sebelius: “Those of us who are, somewhat believing that the opposition in Washington are crazy people, it is imperative that this government, the government that basically says that this federal government has a role to play in people’s lives, it feels like it’s frustrating to have to defend something that is less than ideal, or that functions at what seems to be a level of incompetence that is larger than what it should be.”
Stewart’s point about “less than ideal” is that he wants to see a single payer system. It’s hard for Sebelius to comment on that, as she has to defend the current plan. I think Stewart is right, but it’s not a question Sebelius can actually answer while serving as the head of HHS. She can’t say, yeah, we should have socialized medicine. (And no, she really can’t.)
Still, she is not the person I’d be putting out there to defend the Affordable Care Act. She’s just not good at television. And this was a softball interview, and she was clearly nervous, and simply didn’t come across well. Either she gets a ton of additional media training (someone turn on the bat signal for Joel Silberman), or they find someone else to represent them on this issue on TV. This is a hugely important issue. It deserves better.