John Oliver's New Show Slams Oregon for Its Failed Health Exchange


Cover Oregon

Former Daily Show guest host John Oliver's funny news show, Last Week Tonight, debuted last night on HBO. Overall, I thought it was pretty good—smartly written, consistently amusing, with a good mix of targets. One of those targets was Cover Oregon, the Obamacare insurance exchange that the folks in the Beaver State tried to set up.

I say tried because last week it was confirmed they had failed completely: No one ever signed up online, and the state announced that it was giving up on the expensive tech project, which had been awarded hundreds of millions in federal grants, and joining the federal health exchange. 

Here's the segment: 

Only one minor complaint: The $248 million figure Oliver's bit provides for the state's federal exchange funding is low. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Oregon actually recieved a total of just more than $300 million in federal grants. 

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  1. Not a single online enrollment? Did any body get fired? How about an investigation for fraud? Criminal negligence? I mean, for $300 million, they should have gotten a single enrollee.

    1. I’m assuming those questions are purely rhetorical.

    2. Now I get it! This is a real life Brewster’s Millions. The only way Oregon gets the $300B is if they can spend $300M and have absolutely nothing to show for it.

      Well played, Oregon!

    3. You hush up now! They’re intentions were noble and their commercials reflected their sensitivity and higher level of enlightenment.

      Stop micro-aggressing them with your privileged expectations of accountability.

      1. *their*

        1. Stop micro-aggressing yourself!

  2. I recorded that show but didn’t watch it yet. From this it appears to be a The Daily Show clone, no doubt born from Oliver’s apparently successful stint as that show’s guest host.

    $300,000,000.00. What’s amazing is that a whole lot of people aren’t at least sued for this, if not criminall tried. Incompetence alone doesn’t account for that number disappearing down the hole.

    1. “You fucked up. You trusted us.”

      That should replace E Pluribus Unum on the currency. Or, at least its Latin version should.

      1. E Pluribus Anal “From One Butthole, Many”

      2. “You fucked up. You trusted us.”

        “Tu sapor, fornicata es in nobis”

        At least according to Google translate. Doesn’t quite look right though.

        1. Translate it back to English and you get:

          “You flavor, didst commit whoredom with us”

    2. The clip I watched was edgier and funnier than most of TDS’s recent shite, and took on a liberal failure.

      Dunno if the rest of the show was as unwatchably smug and biased and politically clueless as TDS, since can’t find a link online to it.

      If Oliver skewers liberals and conservatives, it might be worth watching.

      1. TDS was excruciating critical of the failed HealthCare.gov rollout.

        1. No, it really wasn’t, it was mildly critical for a day or so, which is what passes for “excruciating critical” amongst it’s apologists.

          1. Perhaps I was sufficiently surprised by the criticism to remember it as excruciating.

  3. I saw that last night and was suitably impressed.

    Who knows if this show has the legs for a long stint or for how long Oliver will stick it to the man, before becoming nothing more than a barely droll mouthpiece for authority and jackboots, but I’m enjoying it for the moment.

    1. Yeah, not really optimistic on that score. Oliver has impressed me as a vastly more Team Blue-leaning clown than otherwise. This strikes me as an anomaly.

  4. “You fucking idiots.”


  5. But ya know, it’s like Web Van or one of those tech companies. Some things just don’t work right at the beginning, ya gotta give ’em some time! I mean, ya wouldn’t shut down one of those if it didn’t work once in 6 months, would ya?

  6. I thought Oliver was hilarious on his NY Stand Up show. He probably leans left, but I doubt he will be as obsequious to the party as Stewart.

    Also, I thought that was Lisa Loeb (confirmed by title). Good to see she hasn’t changed.

  7. Good move by Oliver. The only time TDS was consistently funny over the past 5 or years was when he was hosting it.

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