Obamacare Patient Zero: Affordable Care Act site ‘needs to be fixed for sure’
The man touted by several national media outlets and government officials for successfully signing up for Obamacare Tuesday is a volunteer for an Obama grassroots organization.
Chad Henderson, who is being hailed as a hero for becoming one of the few Americans to navigate the Obamacare website and sign up for health insurance coverage, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that his history as an Organizing for America volunteer did not provide him any special skills for navigating the Obamacare exchange, which he agreed was very poorly structured.
Henderson wrote on his Facebook page that he was set to give interviews to POLITICO, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post to discuss his ability to sign up for Obamacare coverage.
Henderson also wrote on Facebook that “a few of President Obama’s top advisers had shared my ObamaCare enrollment story with their Twitter followers.”
The Twitter account @Obamacare retweeted Henderson’s statement that he’d enrolled in the program.
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, re-tweeted Henderson’s tweet to her followers.
Healthcare.gov, the website on which users apply for coverage, has been marred by bugs since it went live on October 1st.
Enrollment in the program has been weak so far. Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp said that no Kansans had signed up for Obamacare on the first day of the rollout. California’s Obamacare network failed to enroll even one person because of poor staff training.
Democratic Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes acknowledged that one-half of one percent of the few visitors to the Nutmeg State’s exchange had managed to apply for insurance.
Today, the CT health exchange @AccessHealthCT received 28k visitors, and took 167 applications for health insurance. Day 1.
— Jim Himes (@jahimes) October 2, 2013
Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post reported that it took Henderson three hours to sign up for coverage. He logged onto the Obamacare website shortly after midnight on October 1st.
Henderson “describes himself as a supporter of President Obama who has anxiously awaited Obamacare’s rollout,” wrote Kliff.
But Henderson’s support of the President extends further than that. According to Henderson’s LinkedIn profile, the 21 year-old Florida native has been a volunteer at Organizing for America — the forerunner to Organizing for Action — since 2007.
Henderson’s goal with OFA was to “help elect Barack Obama as our 44th President and to continue his agenda.”
Reached by The Daily Caller News Foundation, Henderson said that his volunteer work at OFA did not help his story go viral.
“I’ve been accused of that all day and I can assure you I just simply sent a tweet and it went crazy from there,” said Henderson.
Henderson did confirm that he volunteers for OFA but said “It’s totally irrelevant to my situation.”
Asked if other users would wait around as long as he did to sign up for insurance, Henderson told TheDCNF he “can see why someone would give up instead of waiting for a long time.”
The young colossus of communal medicine added, “Something needs to be fixed on the website for sure.”
Henderson also seems to have mixed feelings about his new status as the Greatest Living American.
“Wow. Who knew my story would cause so much hatefulness towards me,” the new voice of his generation wrote on his Facebook page Thursday. “I’ve received many criticizing comments and Tweets directed at me just because I shared my story with national reporters. How rude! It’s time for a vacation…. which I am taking tomorrow to Ohio! Excited for King’s Island!”
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