Screen: Comedy Central

The Obamacare Website Sucks Because Of Canada

A damning charge from The Colbert Report, but hey -- a mention on The Colbert Report!

Even left-leaning media outlets and analysts have been moved to admit that the launch of HealthCare.gov -- the site one uses to sign up for discounted health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (more vulgarly: "Obamacare") -- has not been an unqualified success. I mean, when the President has to give a speech where he acknowledges how buggy the site is...shit's bad. "If I had created a website with this many problems, I'd kill myself." - Kelly Kapoor/Markos Moulitsas. (I'm paraphrasing.)

I haven't been following the coverage of the debacle that closely, so it wasn't until I watched the latest episode of The Colbert Report that I learned the identity of the primary culprit in the crappiness of HealthCare.gov. The show kicks off its in-depth investigation into (because it's The Colbert Report) the great lie/colossal injustice/death panel extravaganza that is Obamacare -- which culminates with Stephen (Stephen Colbert) getting walked through the process of signing up through the site -- by mentioning that, of the 50+ contractors (yeesh) the Obama Administration used to build HealthCare.gov, many were based in Canada (which he helpfully repeats en français). Not only that: the company getting the most blame for the failed launch is CGI!

You guys, this is far and away the most excited I have been about an Ermahgerd! Kernader! since Kroll Show brought us "Wheels Ontario." My very own sainted mother worked for CGI -- starting with the company back when it was still called CDSL -- for almost twenty years (before leaving to go work in academia in Pakistan but that is another story); my sister also worked at a call center there, during the summers when she was in high school. When the shot up top appeared, I took a photo of my TV screen and emailed it to them both, and I guarantee that when I tell them it was in a segment shitting on the company, they will still be tickled -- not because they bear CGI any ill will but just because they're one degree of separation from Stephen Colbert kind of!

CGI is a giant multinational company: it has 400 offices around the world, employs 72,000 people, and is Canada's largest tech firm, and yet the fact that you'd never heard of it until this all happened is kind of what makes this whole business ultra-Canadian. CGI didn't try to get all showy by making the first mass-appeal smartphone like RIM...and look where RIM is now. And sure, fucking up health care for millions of Americans is obviously not the ideal way to get on the map, but you know who's not going to lose their health insurance even if they get fired as a result of said fuckup? ALL OF CGI'S EMPLOYEES IN CANADA.

Just how Canadian is this?

The Canadianosity Scale™ measures both the accuracy and Canadiannessity of a mention of Canada on American television. A score of seven is roughly equivalent to Jean Chrétien celebrating with half a case of Labatt's 50 after choking out that guy.
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