Bryan Cranston stars as Walter White in 'Breaking Bad.' / Courtesy AMC
(USA TODAY) - Leave it to Saturday Night Live to link President Obama, health care, the prospect of a government shutdown -- and Sunday night's final episode of the Emmy-winning television program Breaking Bad.
The SNL hook: Breaking Bad protagonist Walter White - the cancer-stricken, cash-strapped high school chemistry teacher-turned-evil meth dealer - could have avoided trouble if Obamacare had been in place earlier.
Real-life actor Aaron Paul played his Breaking Bad character Jesse Pinkman - White's student-turned-partner in crime - and appeared at a town hall hosted by a faux Obama, played by SNL character Jay Pharoah.
"I have this friend - and he got sick," Paul/Pinkman said. "Like, cancer sick. But because there wasn't Obamacare, he couldn't afford the treatments. So he was, like, backed into a corner."
Obama expressed sympathy - "keep in mind this man was a teacher with a family!" - as Paul/Pinkman added: "So, he did what any of us would have done - he started cooking meth."
As the Pinkman character begins discussing White's other unsavory activities - "murder, you know ... he blew half a guy's face off" - the faux Obama quickly says, "I think we can probably wrap this up."
Walter White's fate will be revealed Sunday night.
Obamacare? It will take years to assess.
Enjoy the video; Paul's appearance comes shortly after the 4:30 mark. It was the opening skit for Saturday Night Live's new season - and has plenty of ammunition for both backers and opponents of the new health care law.