Jan Runbeck + Daily Show = Obamapocalypse!

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UW Tacoma nursing alumna Jan Runbeck, '06, explains on The Daily Show why she is so happy about the closure of her clinic.

What happens when a national comedy news show interviews a UW Tacoma alumna? Obamapocalypse!

That’s the tongue-in-cheek point satirically attempted by Daily Show reporter Jordan Klepper, who came to Tacoma in search of healthcare disasters brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Klepper had heard a tale of a healthcare clinic shutting down as a result of the health insurance reform legislation enacted in 2010, which is a true story.

The story is that the RotaCare Clinic of Tacoma, founded and directed by UW Tacoma nursing alumna Janet Runbeck, ’06, completed a drive to enroll all of its patients in health insurance plans shortly after the ACA was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. With no one left to serve, clinic leaders, including Runbeck, decided the best course was to close the clinic.

If they didn’t close the clinic, Runbeck told Talking Points Memo, “People would keep coming to us forever, defeating the whole purpose of the ACA. Chronic disease is what kills most people. It needs to be managed in medical homes, and free clinics are not set up to manage the whole patient.”

In the Daily Show video segment, Klepper is continually stymied in his efforts to portray the RotaCare clinic and Runbeck as victims of insurance reform. Runbeck gamely parries his thrusts with undaunted enthusiasm for the improvement in the lives of her former patients.

Watch the Daily Show video.

More coverage of RotaCare Clinic of Tacoma closure:

More about UW Tacoma nursing alumna Janet Runbeck:


Written by: 
John Burkhardt / September 26, 2014
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, Media Relations, 253-692-4536, johnbjr@uw.edu