Claim: The toll-free phone number for the "Obamacare national call center" spells out a crude phrase.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, October 2013]
Is it true that the nationwide phone number for Obamacare is 1-800-FUCKYO?
Origins: Back in July 2013, prior to the opening of PPACA-created state- and federal-run insurance exchange marketplaces on 1 October 2013, the federal government's web site at www.healthcare.gov published a blog post to help consumers with questions about the new Health Insurance Marketplace. That post helpfully noted that one method available for obtaining answers to Health Insurance Marketplace questions was to call a 24-hour, toll-free phone number and speak with a customer service representative:
Call us right now to get your Marketplace questions answered by a customer service representative, available 24/7: 1-800-318-2596
On 3 October 2013, the Daily Callerreported that the "Obamacare's national call center" phone number could also be rendered as 1-800-FUCKYO.
Although 800-318-2596 is the correct phone number for the Health Insurance Marketplace
customer service line, and turning its digits into letters as they are found on
telephone keypads does produce the phrase 800-FUCKYO (among many other possibilities), that transformation only works because of the quirk that the digit '1' is
not represented by a letter on standard U.S. telephone keypads.
Technically, the 800-318-2596 phone number cannot correctly be rendered as 800-FUCKYO because that designation omits the essential '1' digit between the '3' and '8' and therefore does not represent an accurate phone number for the Health Insurance Marketplace hotline (or a valid phone number at all). A correct rendering of the phone number would be the somewhat less salacious 1-800-F1UCKYO.
Additionally, the 800-318-2596 phone number wasn't selected by the current administration, as it has been used as a toll-free government number for providing information about Medicare plans since at least as far back as 1999.
The current assignee of the 1-800-FUCKYOU number (a phone sex line) has now updated their initial recording greeting with a message asking callers to indicate whether or not they are calling about Obamacare.