“South Park” Takes on Obamacare Website, Paints Sympathetic Portrait of Kathleen Sebelius

Screenshot: <a href="http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s17e05-taming-strange">southparkstudios.com</a>

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On Wednesday night, South Park tackled Healthcare.gov. The latest episode of the popular Comedy Central animated series depicted a “simple, integrated [web] portal” called IntelliLink, which South Park Elementary was using to streamline students’ health care services. If a kid starts “coughing up blood and need to see the nurse,” Mr. Mackey instructs, the student enters his or her request into the school’s new website. For virtually the entire episode, the site is malfunctioning and falls far short on its promise to be the “easiest, most streamlined” way to deliver health care. The episode (which you can watch here) also shows Canada struggling with their own IntelliLink system.

“Anyone who thinks streamlining health care into an integrated computer system would go smoothly deserves a giant queef in their face,” one Canadian character says.

The new episode, titled “Taming Strange,” fits South Park‘s pattern of lampooning both sides of the aisle. Past targets include anti-immigration hardliners, Al Gore, Glenn Beck, and (earlier this season) NSA spying and Stand Your Ground laws. But what is a bit of a surprise is the South Park crew’s sympathetic portrayal of Kathleen Sebelius, the Department of Health and Human Services chief who has taken a lot of heat from Congress and commentators for the problems people are having when they try to sign up for health insurance on Healthcare.gov. After repeated failings of the school’s IntelliLink site, Mackey hires “Pat,” a character based on Sebelius. Instead of allowing her to complete her sentences, Mackey scapegoats her, won’t stop shouting at her, and then promptly dismisses her. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT [THE WEBSITE]?” Mackey yells. “HOW ABOUT YOU TAKE SOME DAMN RESPONSIBILITY?”

Here is Pat/Sebelius’ cameo on South Park:

Kathleen Sebelius South Park Healthcare.gov

 

h/t Lachlan Markay

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