When the first thing Jon Stewart brought up was the technical problems that have bedeviled the rollout of
Sebelius appeared Monday on Stewart's
Stewart took aim at the computer problems plaguing the online health insurance exchanges, which have made it difficult for customers to enroll in the various insurance plans offered.
"We're going to do a challenge," he said, opening up his laptop in jest. "I'm going to try and download every movie ever made. And you're going to try to sign up for Obamacare, and we'll see which happens first."
Stewart then proceeded to ask Sibelius how many people had successfully purchased insurance in the new marketplace.
Sebelius said she didn't know, but that monthly reports to be released later will contain those figures. "But I can tell you, we've had not only lots of Web hits, hundreds of thousands of accounts created," she said. Those accounts, she said, mean people will soon be shopping for health insurance.
Stewart also asked Sebelius why individuals weren't given a one-year delay as the Obama administration has granted some businesses. Under the waiver, those businesses will be given an extra year to set up insurance programs that conform to the law's guidelines.
She pivoted to spelling out the rules affecting small and large businesses, saying the new marketplace gives them more options to shop for healthcare plans.
After a quick back-and-forth in which Stewart tried to get her tell him why individuals can't have a one-year reprieve, he finally said: "Let me ask you this: Am I a stupid man?"
Sebelius laughed, replying: "I don't think so."
She then touted the transparency for consumers of being able to shop for various healthcare plans and compare them side by side.
Still, Stewart pressed on: "Why is it that individuals, though, couldn't say they didn't want to do it just for a year?"
"Well they can. They pay a fine," she responded. "They pay a fine at the end of the year, but they don't have to, I mean, they can say, 'I don't want to do it.' '