published Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Daily Show mocks Tennessee’s health care lottery

The Daily Show devoted part of its Wednesday night show to satirizing a state program that has been dubbed as a Tennessee’s health care lottery.

The segment satirizes TennCare Standard Spend Down program, which opens up limited Medicaid benefits to low-income residents who must call a hotline — competing against thousands of others calling at the same time.

“Yep, it’s a health care lottery!” correspondent Jessica Williams cries, “Rather than accept federal money to cover 330,000 uninsured, they award health care to the first 2,500 callers. It’s like calling the Morning Zoo for Rihanna tickets, except if you don’t win, your diabetes goes untreated!”

Host Jon Stewart jeers at other states’ efforts to find alternatives to Medicaid expansion, and mockingly lauds Tennessee’s program as “the best Medicaid solution of all.”

In the segment, Williams interviews one woman who was too ill to participate in the lottery, and another man who “won” the lottery, but still has yet to find out whether he will get coverage as the long approval process drags out.

“I love slot machines, but I don’t love Russian roulette,” says one of the uninsured women Williams interviews.

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