Jon Stewart’s Former Sidekick Rips Oregon’s Obamacare Debacle in New HBO Show

by Andrew Johnson

Former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver kicked off his new HBO show Last Week Tonight by panning Oregon’s troubled Obamacare exchange (it’s yet to enroll a single person). This past week, the state announced it will likely move to the federal exchange, abandoning for now the state marketplace that cost a quarter-billion dollars to build.

“That has got to be a bitter pill to swallow for the people of Oregon — or it would be if they could get the pill, which they can’t because their sh***y website is broken,” he joked.

Oliver took particular exception to Cover Oregon’s “violently adorable” ads, promotional videos featuring folksy music that were heralded as creative outreach prior to the state’s disastrous launch.

“This is all very charming until you waste tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on a website that doesn’t work,” Oliver said. Oliver and crew came up with their own version of an Cover Oregon–style ad, featuring a hipster singing lyrics like “like artists in Portland, your website doesn’t work” and “your passion for cuteness may kill your whole state.”