Fifth Person Dies While Waiting to Sign Up for Obamacare

Written by Nick Taxia on October 29, 2013

The following is satire.

(NASHVILLE, TN) — The notoriously long, hampered, arduous wait to sign up for Obamacare has reportedly taken the life of a Tennessee man, now allegedly among a growing list of people who have died while trying to enroll in the federal government’s healthcare program.

Nashville authorities say Walter E. Polte, 60, had been sitting at his computer, logged on to the government’s glitch–plagued healthcare signup website,, since October 5th, when he finally let out a loud sigh, then a groan, and collapsed unconscious on his computer’s keyboard. Paramedics arrived shortly after Polte’s collapse but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Polte’s wife, Eleanor, the former used car salesman was laid-off last year, consequently losing his healthcare insurance. Due to heart disease and a history of anxiety, Polte chose to try his luck with Obamacare. “But he kept sitting there, entering and re-entering his information over and over, just the basics, day after day…,” said a distraught Eleanor Polte to reporters Sunday. “(Walter) just kept getting that ‘404 ERROR’ page or the ‘loading time-out’ screen, but he kept on trying to enroll. I brought him food and water and asked him to give it a rest and try later, but he wouldn’t. Now he’s dead … Dead from Obamacare before he didn’t even enroll in it! NO…!”

If confirmed, Polte’s death will make him the fifth person to die while waiting to enroll in the Affordable Care Act, so affectionately known as “Obamacare.” Four other deaths due to a stroke, heart attacks, and a suicide have been reported in four states, prompting longtime critics of Obamacare and the launch of its grueling signup website to suspect that its long-feared “death panels” are in fact the laborious wait it is taking people, particularly older Americans, to enlist in the massive federal program itself.

“In effect, trying to sign up for Obamacare kills!” said Thomas DeLorenzo, Director of Doctors for Patient Care, Monday. DeLorenzo has been one been one of many of Obamacare’s outspoken and has warned against its inevitable government–mandated restrictions on life-saving procedures and prescriptions. According to DeLorenzo, Walter Polte’s demise may be type of “death panel” ACA opponents had not expected, but so feared.

“Reports are emerging of more of people dying on their computers and phones during this (Obamacare sign-up) process. We’ve been warning about death panels, but we never expected this,” DeLorenzo said, Monday. “People who are too old or too weak to handle the endless, enraging process this disaster of a website puts them through…? This is the death panel we’ve been warning about – you wait so long to sign up for Obamacare that you die before you succeed in doing it!”

Obamacare Signup Deaths Just Tip of the Iceberg
Aside from actual deaths, hundreds of incidents of people suffering heart attacks, aneurisms, strokes, fainting, nervous exhaustion, breakdowns, starvation, and even attempted suicides due to the length and frustration it is taking them to enlist in the government healthcare exchange program system are being reported. Hospitals around the nation report seeing an increasing number of patients suffering from the effects of what is becoming known as “Obamacare Signup Syndrome”.

“I was one of the first to warn people of ‘death panels’ in Obamacare, but I admit: I never knew the death panels would be embedded in the mere sign-up process,” said former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin to reporters Monday. “Weeding out people by way of keeping them waiting on the computer or phone so long that they die…? This is sick! We told people this would be a debacle from start to finish, and now it looks like a deadly debacle just during the start.”

Emergency Department Head Nurse Sergio Ortega, of Our Lady of Saint Barry Hospital outside President Obama’s hometown of Chicago said Monday that just in the last 24 hours he and his staff have treated over 20 people suffering from the maddening effects of trying to sign up for Obamacare.

Said Ortega to Duh Progressive Monday, “It’s not just middle-aged or older folks coming in, it’s younger people too who’ve sat online for days trying to get through this monstrosity. They’ve come in here suffering from anxiety, psychosis, dementia, depression, suicidal thoughts, heart attacks … It’s like this Affordable Care sign-up process is its own filter for people it finds unsuitable, just by the ordeal it is to sign up.”

The White House has yet to publically respond to the claims that trying to sign up for Obamacare is inadvertently meant to “weed out” those least qualified for it via its unimaginably onerous sign–up time, but released a statement Monday offering comfort to people trying to sign up for the national program.

“We have admitted that the Health and Human Services website is hampered by glitches and the millions of people trying to sign up for the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges and benefits,” stated the Press Secretary’s office. “Our job now is to help as many Americans as possible obtain stable, affordable, effective health coverage as soon as possible. And for those with chronic conditions that may make them more costly to our program, we urge them to keep trying to apply for the Affordable Care Act online, or over the phone. Just keep on waiting … and waiting. Forget eating, forget water, forget sleep or rest. Just keep trying and waiting. Thank you.”

The preceding is satire.

Nick Taxia is a former campaign manager and consultant in Washington, D.C. He is the primary writer and producer of the conservative-leaning satirical web site,, as well as a rising radio personality, commentator, and comedian.