Guest Post: Is Internet Explorer undermining attempts to sign up for Obamacare?

Obamacare has come under serious criticism since its launch for certain failings I don’t care to review in full. But whatever the shortcomings of, pundits seem to agree [multiple link alert]: Obamacare’s state-level websites are performing much better than the Federal one.

Or are they?

Here’s Michael Rutenberg-Schoenberg, reporting on some technological difficulties encountered by Mac users trying to sign up for health care through Oregon’s exchange.

Coming from one of the strongest Obamacare supporters you will meet, here are instructions for signing up for health insurance using Cover Oregon’s website on a Mac:

  1. Throw away your computer.
  2. Go find the computer you abandoned in your closet three or more years ago, because it stopped working.  Note: it must run Mac OSX 10.6 or earlier.
  3. Resurrect it from the dead.
  4. Go to this link, and download Internet Explorer.
  5. Install Internet Explorer
  6. Open Internet Explorer, the dinosaur of an internet browser stopped being updated a decade ago, because it was already good for nothing [Note: see here for more on the current state of Internet Explorer]
  7. Go to, and click on apply for insurance (after researching the plan you want).

In all seriousness, the wonderful source of information that is Cover Oregon claims that it is only useable using Internet Explorer (  In other words, if you have a new Mac, you’re out of luck.


These are the system requirements to run the most-recent version of Internet Explorer on a Mac:

  • Must run OSX 10.6 or earlier.  Later operating systems do not support Mac applications written for PowerPC processors.
  • Must have Internet Explorer installed (see link above).


  • A working windows emulator, or simply installing windows on your Mac, will alleviate these problems.

The upshot: If you use Windows, all is well. Cue a victory dance by the PC guy from the Mac commercials.

Please spread this information. Signing up for health insurance is not a joke. You need it, and so do your friends, and the Affordable Care Act simply won’t work if people don’t sign up.


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