Trolling Obamacare: Facebook Comments Reveal ‘Epic Fail’
Alicé Leuchte | October 2, 2013
After reading the comments on the HealthCare.gov Facebook page, my first realization was that I had finally witnessed a legitimate use of the phrase ‘epic fail.’ If someone were to tell me the slang had been invented with some premonition to specifically describe the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – I would believe it.
Facebookers have written thousands of comments about their experiences and frustrations with the online registration process, customer service, quoted premiums – and more.
I first caught wind of this overwhelming feedback from a screenshot posted at Open Your Eyes People. In this particular comment, the user “Will Sheehan” describes his experience after successfully creating an account and going through the process:
I actually made it through this morning at 8:00 A.M. I have a preexisting condition (Type 1 Diabetes) and my income base was 45K-55K annually I chose tier 2 “Silver Plan” and my monthly premiums came out to $597.00 with $13,988 yearly deductible!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I “opt-out” and chose to continue along with no insurance. I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. informing me that my fine would be $4,037 and could be attached to my yearly income tax return. Then you make it to the “REPERCUSSIONS PORTION” for “non-payment” of yearly fine. First, your drivers license will be suspended until paid, and if you go 24 consecutive months with “Non-Payment” and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home. You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy “Automatically withdraw” your “penalties” weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! This by no means is “Free” or even “Affordable.”
Many others who commented on the page didn’t get this far with the process. Here are some highlights of the comments posted to the thread from October 1 (“Today is the first day of open enrollment!”):
- Rick Flowe: HealthCare.gov site crashes Oct.1. Apparently, the chimps in your IT department didn’t anticipate a large turnout for ObamaCare.
- David Prue: Web site is broken. Spent more than an hour trying to create an account and log in. Must have furloughed the website people.
- Michael Eshom: As a web developer, I want to know why it takes 5+ hours to figure out why security questions aren’t loading. It took me 5 seconds to find that the URL being accessed to fill in the data is returning a “500 internal server error” status using Chrome’s developer console. From there it shouldn’t be hard for a knowledgeable person to trace the problem and fix it.
- De Anna Glendenning: I am sure when it comes time to pay the IRS the fines we won’t be permitted to have a glitch…
- John Eagan: Home Tech support: these were my issues with registration on healthcare.gov. 1. name (last and first ) and password are not unique 2. username and password aren’t unique 3. received link in email. clicked on link couldn’t confirm password 4. you account couldn’t be created at this time. the combination of the first name, last name and email address aren’t unique THEY ARE ALL UNIQUELY UNIQUE.
- Dennis Watkins: Disappointed that I can’t get on the Exchange (Marketplace). Been trying since 7:00am this morning. However, I am more disappointed in the 1-800# Customer Service number. I spoke to 3 different 1-800 Reps today and all 3 were a joke. On the first one, I simply gave up with the Rep and hung up. The second Rep was so confused he actually hung up on me. The third rep said the system was down (duh) but he could take my personal information, run quotes and mail them to me with a paper app (what?). What’s really funny about the second Rep was he wanted me to call another 800# for help. When he read the number to me I said “sir, this is the number I just called in on to talk to you”. This is scary stuff folks. Don’t let the “media and government rhetoric” convince you that this “exchange thing” is working – it is not.
- Joshua Fenton: I thought the Republicans were just exaggerating about the problems. But they weren’t. This is a complete mess.
My second realization was that the worst job on the planet right now would have to be moderating this Facebook page. The poor soul (or souls) tried to reply to comments, but the task ultimately proved futile. So that begs the question:
Howard Schargel: Is the FB person for healthcare.gov deemed an Essential or non Essential worker?