Obamacare has become the Un-Affordable Care Act

High price and lousy service deter enrolment in Obamacare. The White House should release all details now from the Obamacare website. Photo: Special to the Washington Times

WASHINGTON, October 4, 2013 — Not only is Obamacare unpopular with the general public, but it also is losing favor among the very people it’s supposed to help. The White House has difficulty getting the uninsured to buy Obamacare not merely because the government website is bad, but mostly because the product is bad. It’s overpriced.

The Affordable Care Act long ago became known as Obamacare. Now it’s time to re-christen it the Un-Affordable Care Act.


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Conservatives should insist that the Obama Administration immediately make public all details about the signups and traffic at the key website, www.healthcare.gov., and Congress should act promptly on that information.

The White House cannot brag about how many have signed up for coverage, so they brag about visits to the site. That’s like a store boasting how many people looked through the windows but never went inside to buy.

Many visitors to the Obamacame website complain because it freezes up before they can even find out the prices of policies. They are the lucky ones.

Once they finally find out the costs, they back off from applying. High premiums are accompanied by high deductibles and high co-pays.


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The Administration insists millions will enroll by year’s end, but it’s a mystery how many have applied so far. Reporters beg the public for information. “The Chicago Tribune” deemed it newsworthy when they finally found a lone individual who enrolled. Upon learning that 57-year-old Kathy Kanak signed up on the second day, it was printed as proof that at least one real live Illinoisan had made it through the online maze and applied. Kanak said her willingness to pay the high price was linked to the subsidy she expects to help cover the bill.

In the absence of official figures, media make estimates. London’s “Daily Mail” reported that less than 1% of the first day’s website visitors actually signed up. They estimated only .058% of California visitors had done so, .059% of Connecticut’s and .032% of New York’s.

Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp said his state was shut out. Although an estimated 365,000 Kansans lack insurance, zero individuals reportedly signed up on day one. In Louisiana, only after the second day did Blue Cross-Blue Shield get word that it had new customers—a whopping seven of them in the whole state.

Nobody knows how much the fault stems from the lousy computer system and how much from the lousy prices. Premiums are soaring because the law dictates so many expanded benefits and so much bureaucracy.


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As the Manhattan Institute calculated, Obamacare increases individual-market premiums by 99% for men and 62% for women. The worst prices hit young adults. The American Action Forum says a healthy 30-year-old male will see the cheapest option rise 260% on average. Premiums would increase in every state. In Vermont, it will rise 600% in Vermont.

The same mandates also bring dramatic premium increases for group plans. So who does get lower premiums? Mostly those with pre-existing conditions, which is a major factor in shifting the cost increases onto everyone else.

The facts are dawning on people as they learn the truths about Obamacare, like when they find out how ultra-expensive it will be for them on top of the costs to taxpayers in general. It is a far cry from Obama’s cynical promises to cut insurance costs by $2,500 a year for a family of four.

High prices, high deductibles and high co-pays are generating high disgust.

The start of registration has opened eyes. The official website has a companion official Facebook page. From its visitors we learn what’s being said by those who visit the official website. There on Facebook, the complaints focus on two things:

1—The website is lousy, and

2—So are the prices for Obamacare

“I am so disappointed,” comments Leslie S. from Georgia. “These prices are outrageous and there are huge deductibles. No one can afford this!” 333 people “liked” her comment.

Tammy B. of Ohio wonders, “How is it that Facebook … can reliably handle BILLIONS of electronic interactions per second, but the Healthcare.gov site, which is literally the very heart of the Obamacare program, wasn’t ready for the obvious millions of visitors.” 109 people “liked” her comment.

Florida’s Mary J. complains that premium subsidies for low earners doesn’t counteract how Obamacare reduces income, “…Businesses and companies … knock everyone to part time to avoid penalties of ACA. More people would be working if it weren’t for the fact that the welfare system pays out more than a full time job. … we are going to be taxed and have to pay for some one else’s health care.” 145 people “liked” her comment.

Alabama’s James A commented, “I will have a choice…..I can pay my rent and buy groceries, or I can pay the health care premiums, move out into the streets and live under a bridge somewhere, and go hungry! Can I please get one of those exemption things that the President and Congress got?” 60 people “liked” what James said.

Meantime the White House feigns that it doesn’t know how the web applications are going. That’s a remarkable statement from a group that mastered Internet technology in two successful elections. After all, it’s routine today for even non-techies to monitor visitors, traffic and sales in real-time, with non-stop detailed reports.

Most likely, the White House has put out the word to conceal bad news and let the President’s people spin a cover story. As they’ve done in other controversies, they’ll conceal the embarrassing truth as long as they can, hoping that meantime Obamacare will become locked-in for perpetuity.

If Obamacare were the great product that Obama claims, it would outsell Ginsu Knives, Sham-Wow!, George Foreman Grilles and every other product that’s hawked by pitchmen. The site would be slicker than eBay’s, Amazon’s, esurance, and all others that deal in high-volume sales.

Obama told the country, “Just visit healthcare.gov, and there you can compare insurance plans – side by side – the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon.”

Not exactly, Mr. President. Those websites work well and offer quality goods at affordable prices. That is quite unlike people’s experience with Obamacare.

We can learn from what Desiree M of Louisiana posted, addressing the multitude who complain about Obamacare’s website: “To everyone having problems, maybe God is trying to stop you from making a huge mistake.”

114 echoed her words with a “like.”


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Ernest Istook

Ernest Istook spent 25 years in public office, including 14 years in Congress. He was rated one of the top 25 conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Then was a Heritage Foundation fellow and a fellow at Harvard's Insitute of Politics, where he led a study group on Propaganda in American Politics Today. 

Now as a radio host and a commentator, Ernest aims to expose Washington's gimmicks--to help you avoid the pitfalls. He brings clarity out of the confusion. 

Native to Texas, Ernest transplanted to Oklahoma after graduating from Baylor University.

Contact Ernest Istook

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