Lawmakers, White House "Upset" with recent attraction.
Despite being closed for the season, Doswell’s Kings Dominion theme park is still under fire from lawmakers and White Officials for its “HELLcare.gov” Halloween Haunt attraction, which features, among other horrors, an excruciating sign-in process, a line that never moves, promised snacks that never are made available and an impossibly circular exiting route.
Worse, the attraction caught the ire of officials for making fun of those folks going through the pain and suffering of signing up for quality, affordable health insurance on the Healthcare.gov federal website.
"Alone in the darkness of a living room ... the only sound is the constant clicking of the mouse, as the searing frustration slowly eats you from the inside out," read the blurb for the attraction on its website. "People looking for quality, affordable health insurance are left ensnared in an endless loop of long waits, error messages and broken promises. ... They are searching for the president who promised them if they liked their existing coverage they could keep their existing coverage ... now they are waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting to enact their revenge."
“I can’t believe a theme park, which is supposed to stand for wholesome family fun, has chosen to put profits before the suffering of plain folks,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney at a hastily-arranged press conference, which was attended only by Newsfromdoswell and a guy from Auto Trader. “HELLcare.gov is a slap to those people who are currently enduring the torture of signing up for health insurance on the exchanges. It is an insult.”
Guests who visited HELLcare.gov first had to fill out long forms of tiny type, entering such personal information as social security numbers and credit card information, using stubby bowling alley-style pencils. They then entered a non-descript building that resembled a post office and got in a long line that did not move for hours. During their wait they were sometimes poorly entertained by a bad actor in an Obama mask and cowboy hat, swinging a lasso and saying over and over “If you want quality, affordable health insurance you can go straight to HELLcare dot gov!”
“Honestly, that actor could not have cared less of how good or effective he was,” said Teman Road resident Paul Holdfield. “I saw him give one guest the finger, and when his spiel was over, he just took off his mask, lit a cigarette and walked away. Man he wasn’t even trying.”
Finally, once the line started moving, guests entered a dark room full of 1995-era Packard Bell computer monitors that flashed either just a blinking cursor or an error message that read “HELLcare.gov is experiencing heavy volume. Please check back later. Bwwaahahahah!” Actors in street clothes just sat in front of the monitors, absently clicking a mouse, napping, or staring at the guests as they filed by.
At that point guests were then routed through a dark and narrow concentric circular exit which featured an actress dressed somewhat like Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, standing with her nose in the air and not acknowledging anyone. Once in a while she would say “You can all go to HELLcare dot gov!” before looking at her watch and going on break.
Snacks and cold sodas were never made available, despite signs announcing they would be.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner condemned Kings Dominion for “an appalling lack of judgment in creating HELLcare.gov."
"Using folks who are trying to sign up for quality, affordable health insurance for profit is an insult," Warner says. "Healthcare.gov is not spooky ghost stories, vampires, witches or other themes commonly used for innocent Halloween fun. It is real life, and deserves better than this.”
"I am all for Halloween, but this Kings Dominion 'attraction' is absolutely unacceptable," Jay Carney stated at the press conference after the Auto Trader guy went looking for a rest room. "With families still trying to access quality and affordable health insurance in the exchanges, as well as recover emotionally and financially from all the unexpected changes in their current health insurance, this 'attraction' is outside the limits of integrity."
UPDATE: Kings Dominion has announced that HELLcare.gov will not be returning next season due to an unexpected glitch.