There’s no “dislike” button on Facebook, but that isn’t stopping people from expressing their frustration with Obamacare on the social-media page dedicated to its promotion.
The Facebook page of Healthcare.gov — with around 300,000 “likes” to date — features new posts just about every day in an effort to urge social-media users to “get covered.” But beneath smiling endorsements from Carole King and LeBron James, comments sections are being filled with the stories and frustrations of Americans who either can’t or don’t want to get covered the way the government tells them to.
“Against my better judgment, I’ve been trying to sign up for the last 3 weeks [on Healthcare.gov] and I’ve reentered my info 20 times and it keeps telling me an error has occurred,” Jacie Walker wrote on the comments thread of a Lebron James video urging enrollment. “I can’t afford to call the help desk over and over and i definitely cant afford $200+ bucks a month when i usually spend less than $200 a year when i pay everything on my own. Nothing about this is free or affordable for young adults.”
Her comment received 74 “likes” and counting.
Many of the posts aim to convince Millennials, the so-called young invincibles, that they’re vulnerable to accidents and should sign up for insurance. One features a skateboarder losing control with the warning, “Don’t rely on luck . . . get covered.” ”You’ll be lucky if you can afford it and lucky if a hospital or doctor actually takes the insurance,” comments Denise Lazur.
Then there is Krystal Dickinson who says, “This whole affordable health care is insane. None of the plans are affordable for people like me. I’m a single mom with 2 kids and I work part time at almost minimum wage. My cheapest plan would cost over half my paycheck a month. This is ridiculous.”
Under a promotional post claiming that treatment for a sprained ankle absent health insurance costs, on average, over $2,000, Donna Sandello writes that her premiums will double under the law, adding, “Oh, and thank you President Obama, for making sure that I have maternity benefits and pediatric coverage since I’m beyond child bearing years and my children have children of their own.”
The Facebook page also features comments from stalwart Obamacare supporters, many of whom thank Obama for their insurance subsidies or claim that the horror stories about Obamacare related by other commenters are false.
Regardless, a page meant to promote an unpopular law has instead become a forum for the disaffected who, despite the happy talk from the administration, continue to face unnecessary hardships.
— Alec Torres is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.