Celebrities speak out on behalf of health insurance executives

The healthcare reform debate has gotten so heated lately that everyone’s too busy screaming to actually hear each other talk. It’s definitely an emotional issue, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have an opinion about it. So while everyone’s angry and frustrated, Funny or Die and MoveOn.org came up with a different way to get people to hear their side – and it doesn’t involve trying to outshout the other guy.

Funny or Die came up with a great satirical video of famous actors explaining why we need to support the insurance executives. Among the reasons: they teach us that poor spelling may lead to death, and show children not to fall off bikes or they’ll have to pay thousands of dollars out of their allowance.

MoveOn.org, together with the Web site Funny or Die, have released a video featuring Will Ferrell and other celebrities in an effort to drum up support for health care reform efforts, as well as the public option. In the video, which you can see at left, Ferrell, Olivia Wilde, Donald Faison and others sarcastically argue in favor of privatized health care and defend the worst practices of insurance companies.

“Insurance companies are detailed enough to deny claims for things like typos,” Ferrell says, facetiously, in the video. “If you spell something wrong, do you really deserve surgery? I don’t think so.”

The clip comes via MoveOn.org Political Action, which backs the public health insurance option. In a release, the organization said the actors participating in the video agree that a public option must be included in the health care reform bill in order to expand coverage and avoid inflated insurance costs.

President Obama has signaled that he is open to leaving the public option out of the health care bill. “As the health care debate enters the homestretch, humor can serve as a powerful reminder to Americans about what exactly is at stake,” Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org, said in the release. “We were thrilled to partner up with the folks at Funny or Die and I think we’ve hit a homerun with this video depicting who exactly the ‘victims’ are in this crisis and the profit motive that will keep the insurance industry fighting tooth and nail against a public option.”

[From CBS News]

Among the other great lines: “Insurance companies need our support because they keep our selfish priorities in check when we can’t,” and “Insurance company CEOs have a right to their American dream … like a mini zoo in your back yard for exotic animals like a white tiger and pygmy horses.” I seriously doubt that people who are dead-set against heath care reform are going to get a chuckle out of the video, let alone change their minds. But it’s sure a welcome lightening of the debate. Entertainment Weekly argues that sarcasm isn’t the right way to approach this issue. My thought: why not? It’s so stressful and heated, why not joke about it a little bit? Funny or Die managed to mock it without being offensive: they weren’t making fun of the sick people, just the super wealthy executives. I thought it was their best video yet.

Here’s another great (though sorta gross) Funny or Die video for Lashisse, mocking the eyelash growing product Latisse.

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44 Responses to “Celebrities speak out on behalf of health insurance executives”

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  1. MeMyself says:

    I love this. Showed up all over Facebook the last couple of days.

  2. Hieronymus Grex says:

    that’s a cup full of AWESOME !!

  3. Annie says:

    I LOVE IT. 🙂

  4. Lem says:

    the yogurt – it’s that good!

  5. Liz Conley says:

    ohhh yeahhh but healthcare would be soooo much better off in the hands of our crooked, debt-filled government??? Everything Washington touches turns to MUD!!!! I disagree — look at Canadians and the French : both countries wish they could get an “honest” answer from a doctor and that they could get heart/cancer treatment within a years time before their about dead…. And like I would listen to a CELEBRITY? WTF? Look at how they handle their own life? Celebitchy wouldnt’ be in such business if celebrities made such WISE decisions!

  6. Jacquie says:

    ‘Scuse me Liz, you can bash celebrities all you like but leave Canada’s healthcare system out of it! It works just fine, thanks!

  7. Lee says:

    Right on Jacquie! However, I can’t resist replying to Liz: Trashing the Canadian system with outright lies in order to scare Americans is ridiculous; we can hear you, and we’re quite happy with our system, thank you very much. If it’s so bad, why is it we have a longer life span, and lower infant mortality, among other things? Now, back to the celebs…

  8. princess pea says:

    hey profree, nice “facts”. Do you happen to know how many babies die when born at home without medical attendance? Or how many Americans don’t have coverage at all? How can a doctor be shoving expensive and unnecessary prescriptions down someone’s throat when that person can’t even get to see a doctor? Maybe you should do some reading, too.

    I can’t tell if you are anti-doctor in general, or just anti-health care. Anyway, I live in Canada, and I’m not dead. My grandmother got her heart surgery, and my broken limbs were mended. My sister’s baby was born by emergency c-section, and she didn’t have to worry about paying for it for years to come. You can hate the system I have if you want to, but I’m happy and your hatred doesn’t hurt me. It’s sad that you feel the need to scare people with lies, though. What are you afraid of?

  9. Goddess711 says:

    Ha! I love this! There are so many Americans who are so afraid of change for the better. America has been getting the WAKE UP call for so long. Kudos to Will and crew – this was so friggin great!!!

  10. donna dot says:

    profree and liz:

    your prejudices are very interesting. did you live in amish villages without TV and radio before you hit the internet with your so called “facts”.

    i live in europe and our health care is doing very well. everyone can go to a doctor and in germany…we all have to have health insurance. it’s statutory duty. same with other parts in europe. our health care is doing very well. and we all get the treatments we need. same with you?

    i remember michael moores “sicko”

  11. TaylorB says:


    Excellent satire! You should work for the Onion.

  12. jennifer says:

    @ Liz Conley

    I trusted that most Americans understood PROPAGANDA when they heard it, I guess I was wrong (with the exception of those who ARE capable of thinking for themselves 😉 ) And please don’t speak for my country, since you are incredibly unqualified to do so and have obviously fallen victim to the aforementioned propaganda.

  13. dude says:

    TaylorB: Onion?

  14. JohnnieR says:

    Kindly do NOT trash our Canadian health system, and focus on the mess your own nation finds itself in re health care.

    A message from the Sexy Canuck Commission.

    Thank You!/Merci!

  15. Ben says:

    Australia has a partly (well mostly) socialized healthcare system and I tell you it works great.

    I don’t understand the issues in America so can’t comment too much, but Australia’s socialized healthcare works fine.

  16. whatever says:

    I had lived in both the US and Canada, and went to the emergency room in both countries. In the US, I spent hours in the waiting room and was billed an insane $5,500 for a few stitches on my foot. In Canada, I had heart palpitations, and they gave me an EKG, and a number of heavy-duty tests. I was ok. The bill was $750. The price was a standard one posted on the wall for all non-Canadian residents. I wasn’t even a Canadian citizen at the time, and I received high quality care for very little cost. Boy, I wish I still lived in Canada.

  17. Isobel says:


    I lived in London for 6 years, and had wonderful, professional, and highly competent health care from the NHS.

    You need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, darling.

  18. Rob says:

    Hmm, I experienced French health care years ago when I was vacation. I was seen in a timely manner, correctly diagnosed with a condition I had for years (undiagnosed in the U.S.) and given the correct medication. Sad that they don’t know what they’re doing lol. And this wasn’t in Paris, it was in the south of France.

    Rock on to the humorous vids!

  19. cara says:

    profree….I think the B.Marley quote suits you to a T…,”the truth is an offence, but not a sin, is he who laughs last, is he who win.”

    *** to the naysayers…check out the article in the Dailymail.co.uk last week of the mother who’s baby was left to die for exactly what profree said above.

  20. Trillion says:

    I can’t add to much to how misinformed Profree is, but how does he/she know how bright the actors are?
    I read an excellent book, a diary really, called “Defying Hitler”. It’s neither conservative nor liberal, it’s the story of what it was like to live in Germany from Great War thru WWII. Anyway, author notes that the only people who were able to “get away with” complaining about the govt. were comedians. I feel it’s much like this now. I’m fed up with both parties and don’t feel well represented by either. I relate to The Onion, The Daily Show, and Funny or Die more than any talking heads I’ve seen.

  21. TaylorB says:


    Mea Culpa. It is The Onion, a satirical ‘newspaper’. Check it out online. Very funny stuff. I see that ‘profee’ has changed/corrected some of the things that led me to think he/she was being satirical, so I guess I was wrong to begin with. My apologies.

  22. Devries says:

    A bunch of Hollywood millionaires bitching about other people being paid too much?

  23. Mairead says:

    In Ireland we have partly-socialised healthcare here too, but many people would have private health insurance as well to help with the private aspects of healthcare – e.g. private rooms in public hospitals, private clinics, help with doctors fees and medication if your income isn’t low enough to qualify for fully subsidised medical care.

    It’s very far from perfect (in very busy hospitals, people can be waiting hours and days for beds – and waiting lists for treatment can be long) and it is chronically expensive for the state, but there is the choice there and nobody is expected to go into debt for treatment for a chronic illness. If a certain therapy can’t be found in Ireland, there are agreements with the UK and mainland Europe in their medical facilities. If we were to add on medical insurance as a job benefit/requirement it would make this country prohibitively expensive to hire anyone in and all industry would suffer. Plus, who exactly are private insurance companies answeable to? In the state system, there’s at least the pretence of accountability. I’m sure hospitals do their best to treat everybody that comes to their door, but when primary healthcare is so expensive (what $100 minimum to visit a private GP?), it must discourage early treatment, especially amongst those who don’t have high levels of insurance cover and are not poor enough to qualify for subsidised healthcare. I’m actually curious to know – I could be basing my opinion of spurious facts and I’d rather they be based on accuracy.

    But sure what would I know – I’m probably already dead anyway 😉

  24. Squirtle says:

    I live in the U.S. but I went to Florence, Italy for a vacation a few years ago, I got very sick and I was stuck in my hotel room unable to even walk. I was so surprised how easy it was for my friend to get a doctor to come to my hotel room to examine me and give me medication, then after a couple days I was able to go to the hospital to get re-checked. I didn’t have to sit in a waiting room for 2 hours or check with my insurance or anything like that, it was so easy and simple. I hate U.S. Healthcare and the pre-existing condition clause most U.S. insurance have is complete B.S.

  25. londoner says:

    Right, first of all Profree, your “facts” are laughable. By your accounts its a wonder Im still alive! Im quite happy with my NHS service, thank you.

    Now, I just cannot wrap my head around this issue. Maybe someone can help me? What is all the FUSS?

    Under this reform, wouldn’t you still be able to pay for your private healthcare if you’re fortunate enough to have it in the first place? Or am I mistaken?

    If so i don’t understand how anyone can justify having a problem with this. Its basically saying “I can afford it, too bad if you can’t” IE A rich person’s life is more valuable than a poor person’s? Thats really forward thinking…NOT.

  26. Aspen says:

    I mean…I’m not getting into the healthcare issue…but in America, everyone can go see a doctor.

    No one is denied care for inability to pay. They just aren’t. For two years in my early twenties, I had no health insurance, and for those two years, I went to a state clinic for my lady medical needs and the ER if I got sick with something. I was honest up front with everyone that I had no insurance and no ability to pay. I was not sent bills, and I did not suffer or get denied treatment.

    Where people are getting this “millions of people languishing without care” thing is beyond me.

    That said, I don’t know WHAT I think we should do with our current system.

  27. KT says:

    Meanwhile, all of the actors (most notably,Will Ferrell) are zillionairs themselves. What CEO of a profitable company DOESN’T make millions these days? *sigh* I want a public plan as much as the next person, but isn’t the real problem the fact that we even need insurance against (the cost of) illness in the first place?

  28. Do your homework says:

    Hey Liz, unless you know what you are actually talking about STFU. Canadian health care isn’t perfect but I’ll take it over the US system anyday. The best part of our system is that you don’t have to declare bankruptcy after a days stay in the hospital because the bill is so high.

  29. Hieronymus Grex says:

    Re- baby left to die:

    Uh-huh, and we all know media outlets never distort the news to suit the needs of their corporate masters. This isn’t the damn dark ages, you easily misled barbarians and children. Its never happened, not once in western civilization since the 1820s. Sorry. It’s a damn lie. If you believe babies are left to die in the modern age you’re an idiot. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN. Anyone who claims differently is a liar and in collusion with lairs and frauds who want to perpetuate the inept system that bleeds your wallets into the coffers of insurance companies. It sickens me that the people who claim to care so much about children and babies want to believe something like that as gospel just to forward their political agenda. If there’s a God in heaven, there will be a lot to answer for, and I’ll be the one throwing peanuts at the back of your head.

  30. Ana says:

    Ugh. I do not claim to know much about politics but I am very hopeful that this will all work out.
    I do not have insurance and it sucks.
    I am not “poor” enough for Medicaid and not old enough for Medicare.
    When I was pregnant I got turned down for Medicaid because I have too much money. I had to claim my car a 03 Sunfire that my dad bought for me. And my husband’s 90 model truck that didn’t even work! At the time, I made about 300 every two weeks and my husband didn’t have a job.
    I worked at the hospital and had to see several illegal pregnant immigrants come in with their Medicaid, it wasn’t fair! One girl was 15 and was pregnant with her second. I live in very poor area and it is difficult to find a job with health coverage and I couldn’t afford it with my other bills.
    I had to go to the health clinic for my dr’s appointments. No offense to them, they were very good with me. When it was time to have my daughter, I was supposed to go to our emergency room. that doesn’t deliver babies. I used to cry myself to sleep every night.
    I had to get rid of my vehicles, but I got Medicaid and I am so grateful.

    I no longer am covered by Medicaid. I was very sick the other night but I couldn’t afford to get help.

    Anyway, I don’t mean to complain. I just feel like people take their health coverage for granted.

  31. Anastasia says:

    Wow I thought profree up there was actually being satirical that stuff was so off the rails crazy.

    Fact is, other industrialized countries provide medical care to their citizens and it works out fine.

    I have no idea why some Americans are so terrified of this. It’s long overdue that we have this for our citizens, as well. I’m tired of seeing people I care about stay sick because they can’t afford to do anything about it.

    We have MASSIVE problems in the US and all the fear-mongers can do is make up stuff about other countries. Sad, really.

  32. Ana says:

    “I would like insurance companies to stop treating it as a preexisting condition though.”

    That was a major problem for me. When I was 6 months pregnant my husband got a job that had health coverage but they wouldn’t cover my pregnancy because it was preexisting.

    I haven’t had health insurance in almost 4 years. I wish it were cheaper because I would buy it if I could afford it.

    It made me upset when I first applied for Medicaid because they told me if I was illegal they would give it to me. We have a large population of illegal immigrants here. Many steal identities to live here and have no interest in becoming a citizen. My mother was once told that she was stupid because she had to pay taxes.
    I have no problem with people moving here, but if they are going to stay here they should become citizens.

    All my friends got Medicaid because they weren’t married. We even thought about getting divorced in order to get Medicaid. Luckily we didn’t have to resort to that.

    My husband no longer has his job with coverage. My daughter has Medcaid as her health insurance. It will pay for her until she is 18 or 19 and I am very grateful.

  33. donna dot says:

    “Breast cancer mortality is also 9 percent higher in Canada than in the US. Less than 25 percent of U.S. women die from breast cancer. In Britain, it’s 46 percent; France, 35 percent; Germany, 31 percent; Canada, 28 percent; Australia, 28 percent, and New Zealand, 46 percent.”

    sounds very much like propaganda to me.

  34. donna dot says:

    i don’t like it when people are throwing around with numbers and “facts”.

    the point is: no matter in what country you live in…you are not a person with feelings…you are a person who is useful or not useful for the country and it will always depend on your income how good the health care is that you get.

    the numbers and “facts” must not be reality. we can’t control that. a country wants always better light on itself than on the others (again bad english, sorry).

    we will all experience by ourselves how good the health care in our country is when we need it most (and i don’t hope we will need serious health care…you know what i mean).

    i hope all of you and your loved ones have a good health care and are healthy.

  35. Reebsies says:

    Fabulous video!

    re: “Breast cancer mortality is also 9 percent higher in Canada than in the US. Less than 25 percent of U.S. women die from breast cancer. In Britain, it’s 46 percent; France, 35 percent; Germany, 31 percent; Canada, 28 percent; Australia, 28 percent, and New Zealand, 46 percent.”

    Source please? I found an American Cancer Society website showing mortality rates of 20.9 deaths/100,000 women in Canada, 20.7/100,000 in the U.S., 19.7/100,000 in France, etc. (I would link but not sure of the link policy here)

  36. E says:

    It is very interesting how hostile people are getting toward people who do not believe the same politics. This is why nothing gets done productively and efficiently or effectively in the federal gov. Personally I am an anarcho-capitalist. Why should we let the govt, who has bankrupt everything from medicare to the postal service, and not to mention our country is in debt to China run our healthcare system. I have read HR 3200 many times and it is not going to help us. It is not a well written bill and it does not provide us with the answers we need to fix the system. I agree that reform is needed, but not HR3200. And just so everyone is aware, I don’t have insurance and I cannot be on medicaid and I have survived cancer and I now have a spinal cord injury. Sure things would be better with insurance,but if you can talk to your doctors and the hospitals you can definitely be helped. People are not willing to ask they just suffer in silence. Free healthcare is not FREE.

  37. girl says:

    I call BS on their 80% claim. Where does that come from?

    While I think that being able to insure affordable healthcare for all people is a good idea, there is no way that this government, that runs all kinds of programs like Social Security, Medicaid, the Post Office, the list goes on and on of programs that are pretty much bankrupt or on the verge of being so, will be able to do so in an equitable manner.

    Even the president admits that systems like the one in Canada that so many people on both sides seem to use as an example isn’t the type of system that can work here.

    This isn’t a completely black and white issue. As is, I don’t see how the president will be able to keep his promis that this won’t “add a dime” to the deficit.

  38. blind item reader says:

    Thanks for the libertarian propaganda, profree; maybe try finding something neutral next time.

  39. Yae says:

    I have to agree with KT

    I have a disdain for both health case CEO salaries and hollywood salaries.

    The video is the pot calling the kettle black.

  40. Lita says:

    People in countries with UNIVERSAL health care systems (like mine) know it isn’t ‘free’ per se. We aren’t children.

    Generally; pretty much nobody here (Australia) thinks that Medicare (the state health system) is perfect. It is pretty much like what Mairead said of Ireland’s.

    But the general opinion is that it is pretty good. Both for ourselves and others. Some posters here are railing against the concept; like they begrudge the thought of paying for someone else for primary healthcare! I think it is about the type of society you want to live in. Of course it annoys me to pay for people that rort the system however I’d prefer to be a tad rorted than know people in need are going without. And you can pretty much extrapolate that across all the social welfare support areas.

    The poster that talked about having to lose the car, not get a proper birthing clinic, etc – that is awful and I feel for you. Nobody – esp not in a developed nation – should have to go through that. I know a single incident is not a trend but I don’t want to live in a country where that sort of thing is state policy.

  41. Lita says:

    Err – sorry for the long post, the topic is one that brings on the long-windedness!

  42. londoner says:

    Lita: Well said.

  43. bros says:

    Aspen: good for you that you dont see any problem with the current american healthcare system: your post proves everyone’s point. you went to the hospital, the ER when you got sick, didnt pay, and YOUR COSTS WERE PASSED ON TO EVERYONE ELSE. how impossibly dense can you be? you are saying this system is fine where people use the ER as the PCP and dont pay, so the hospitals get reimbursed for your inability to pay or your status of being without insurance by the tax payer or insurance companies that then pass the increased costs onto paying customers. the US is paying FAR MORE than any other country in the world on our broken healthcare system precisely because of people like YOU.

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