The Daily Caller plays ‘Thanks, Obamacare’ online game

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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As Obamacare implementation lurches painfully into reality, the classic virtual-reality online game “Thanks, Obamacare” — designed by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, makers of the current “Brosurance” Obamacare ads — has returned to popularity on Twitter.

The Daily Caller decided to play “Thanks, Obamacare” Wednesday evening.


First, I have to select a player: Light blue or light purple. I choose light purple because it’s slightly more masculine.

I stand looking out upon a vibrant multicolored village town. Modest white houses, backyard woods and lakes. A stretch of sidewalk to an intersection. I spin a multicolored wheel at the bottom right hand corner of the screen and I’m catapulted forward six spaces to a red question-mark square.

You graduate from high school. Your happiness meter goes up one.

About right. Spin the wheel again.

Do you go to college or just start working? 

I should probably get a job before the union shootings start up again.

(My view of the onscreen universe suddenly expands.) Spin the wheel again.

Your Facebook page has been hacked.

Happiness meter goes down one. Big deal.

You lose your job. Do you want to proceed with Obamacare or without?

Oh, come on. Those weren’t office air conditioners. Damn it. Give me the penalty.

“The economy is bad and you are getting laid off from your job. If you were lucky enough to have employer-based insurance, you can get COBRA for the health insurance you received through your job for 18 months at the full cost of the monthly premium. It’s not cheap, but it’s better than nothing.”

Down to negative-one happiness token. About right.

Life decision: Go back to college or keep working same job?

Oh, you would ask that. Do I have to listen to this right now? You know what, it’s not up to you, Aunt Susan. OK. You think I’m going to bike around some state college campus at 24? Unbelievable. I’m going to drink.

I get retweeted by Lady Gaga. My happiness meter goes up +1.

Awesome. Even Kevin Nealon would have been a +2.

I find out my family has a history of cancer. Do I proceed with Obamacare or without?

“A history of cancer” isn’t exactly pressing on my immediate life here. I’m more focused on rent than Uncle Frank’s trachea.

“You decide to get screened for cancer, but that preventative care ain’t free. Get ready to pony up at least the cost of your co-pay. Advance with a little less in your wallet.”

Yeah, well, if I had a job I’d actually have an insurance plan. Why am I not working on the job thing? What do I do all day? Just hang out at Radio Shack?

“Baby on the way.” Happiness meter goes up one.

What? What the Hell? What the Hell, man? Oh my God. No. No. No. No. One time. One time I decide to go out like a regular young person. Like everybody else. And I get THIS? Oh my God. I can rent a car. I can rent a car. I’ll get some payday loans and just bail. There are places like that around here. Good thing I’m not on that fucking Obamacare grid.

“Time for your baby’s immunizations. Those shots are going to hurt! Do you want to move forward with or without Obamacare?”

I told you not to call this number, Jenn. How do you even spell it? With two N’s? Look, this is just a portable cell phone I bought at the airport. I’m going down south for a while. Just ping your old man on this one. He works for the government, right? “Bruce” is his name? Good, good. Send him my regards. I’m going under a tunnel now. Losing you. (muffled mouth noises)

“You have a healthy new baby and you want to keep it that way. That means vaccinations against illnesses like measles and polio. Your health insurance might not cover the rest of those vaccinations. All those co-pays for all those vaccinations can really add up. It’s gonna cost a lot to keep your baby healthy. Move forward a little poorer than before!”

You can’t prove anything. Take me on Maury.

“You’re diagnosed with Diabetes. With or without?”

It’s been nine years and I still don’t have a private work plan. You think you can get me on your little exchanges now? I’m making two grand a week driving toner ink up to Baltimore and all I have to do is rent out a storage locker. I’ll pay for my own pharmacy sugar water.

Every couple years you same people come around. You look a little different. You get younger. But you’re all the same. The exchanges. Tss!

Yeah, go ahead and pay for some of my healthcare, President Elizabeth Warren. Why not? There are no companies left. Most of the office buildings are just fronts for Vietnamese money laundering rings. The city of Jacksonville is officially under “Dance Law.” So, yeah. Fine. Go ahead and sign me up, Mrs. President. Look, I’m calling in now. Obamacare hotline. Ah. Good. I’m on the line with New Delhi.

Fortunately, I’m getting preventative check-ups with no co-pay. These regular screenings allow me to catch this disease early. “You’re going to be able to manage this thing!”

My doctor is 22 years old and Blue Cross Blue Shield/DEMOCRACY got my disease wrong on the paperwork. I still don’t even know what these stitches are for.

“Take a beach vacation.”

Jersey Shore is nice this time of year. Guy next to me works mornings in the Department of Agriculture. Other fella works nights at Interior. It’s good they let us meet each other like this. Three to a room in these vacation units. Not bad for Chavez Day weekend. Not bad at all.

Healthy retirement at 65 (But all those years resisting the government system took its toll. I’m told I “could be feeling a bit better about things.”)

Man in the white coat only comes around twice a day. He likes me. I can tell. Always slips me an extra pill, an extra blanket, something like that. A guy can get pretty cold in here. But I’m not complaining. I’ve seen a lot of guys come in here complaining. They don’t last long.

I think sometimes about my son, whom I abandoned. I hope he’s a high-ranking official now, over in the IRS or the Infrastructure Department. Something like that. But I wouldn’t know.

I keep a little potted flower here on the windowsill. It isn’t much. The men let me have it. Gives me something to talk to.

The mailman comes by on the weekends from the Post Office. Sometimes I get a letter from Jane. She lives on the floor above me. I’ve never seen her, though. She used to work for the National Park Service. She saved a postcard from every national park she ever went to, and she sends me one every week.

I put them up on the wall here, next to my window, which just looks into the next fella’s room. Makes me feel like I’m outside.

They say the mark of a man is the way he treats people who could never do anything for him. In that case, I suppose I’m not much of a man.

I don’t worry too much about things now. Yeah, I could be feeling better about things. But I feel okay.

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