Adventures in Obamacare [updated]

John Wittman of the House Republican Conference writes to alert us to the release of a video highlighting excerpts of an actual online chat between a potential customer and a customer service representative for For the full chat transcript or to share your story, visit

“Dean” (as the customer service representative was named in the chat window) tells the potential customer not to “lose your sanity over this website,” to “imagine you are stuck in this site’s rush hour traffic” and not to “run with sissors [sic].”

UPDATE: Wittman has sent out this update identifying Adrian Smith of New Jersey as the potential customer and providing this statement from Smith confirming his account:

Thank you for your inquiry about my experience on October 11, 2013 using the support chat. I can confirm that the excerpts used in the YouTube video and the full transcript posted at is authentic and exactly as I experienced on October 11. I am a resident of New Jersey and work for a higher education institution. I am not employed by the Republican Party.

After a recent job transition, my family needed to make an informed decision about healthcare options for the approaching year. After repeated registration problems, I was able to create a account on October 11 and began the tedious process of entering specific personal information about our family. Each page resulted in a long wait before being able to proceed. At some point in the process it appeared that our family information became corrupted and I was unable to proceed with the family profile.

When I reached out to the online chat function for assistance, I was professionally greeted by a customer service representative named “Dean.” At this point, I had hope for a resolution that would allow me to see the pricing and coverage information my family needed. Unfortunately, the chat experience was as frustrating as creating my account. “Dean’s” responses made little sense, were at times comical, and did not provide the help I needed. Ultimately, I lost faith in and made the decision to pursue alternate options for the healthcare needs of my family.


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