Politics

Stockman, Obamacare poster child to be State of the Union buddies?

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman has invited fallen Obamacare poster boy Chad Henderson to be his guest at next year’s State of the Union. Henderson has indicated he will say yes.

“I hope it’s a serious offer. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s playing games, but I will be in that Capitol come January if he’s serious,” Henderson, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The young part-time teacher briefly won national acclaim last week as the first recorded person to buy insurance through an Obamacare exchange — only to fall from grace when he revealed he had not actually bought insurance at all. (Related: Obamacare hero Chad Henderson confirms he never purchased health care plan, blames ‘confusion’)

In a press release Tuesday, Stockman called Henderson a “fake ObamaCare enrollee” and “ObamaCare personified.”

The conservative lawmaker said that the 21 year-old Georgia native “pushed ObamaCare on other people but refused to buy it himself because he would pay more.”

“I hope Chad will join me at the State of the Union Address so Obama can point to someone who personifies his policies,” said Stockman, who also described Henderson as “practically a Democrat member of Congress.”

Henderson gained prominence last week by reportedly becoming one of the few Americans to successfully navigate the buggy Healthcare.gov website. (Related: Obamacare Patient Zero: Affordable Care Act site ‘needs to be fixed for sure’)

“Today, on the opening day of ‘ObamaCare,’ me and my dad enrolled in it and got quality, affordable health care insurance for the first time,” Henderson wrote on his Facebook page.

Henderson’s success story was widely touted by the media and was even promoted by the Obama administration, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ Twitter account. News outlets reported that after three hours of navigating the enrollment process Henderson was able to get a plan that would cost him $175 a month.

It later emerged that Henderson had not, in fact, purchased any health care plan.

While initial reports pointed out that Henderson was an Obama supporter, his affiliation with Organizing for Action, a pro-Obama grassroots group, was not mentioned. Henderson has volunteered for the group since 2007.

Stockman criticized the media for failing retract “false stories” about Henderson’s Obamacare success.

Stockman also pointed out that the Chattanooga Times Free-Press, which broke Henderson’s story, fired an editor earlier this year for a headline criticizing President Obama. (Related: Fired Tennessee newspaper editor: Termination was political and retroactive)

The congressman claimed that Henderson donated $1,000 to Obama’s campaign. “I know Obama can’t wait to personally meet this dedicated supporter. I’m proud to give him the opportunity,” Stockman added.

With his penchant for stunt invitations, Stockman runs something of an ongoing orphan’s Thanksgiving for politically radioactive figures. In August he offered to have Tuffy Gessling — the rodeo clown fired for mocking Obama — to perform at a Lone Star State rodeo. At this year’s State of the Union, during the peak of the post-Sandy Hook push for increased gun control, Stockman invited zealous gun rights advocate and master of shred Ted Nugent to be his plus-one.

Henderson acknowledged to TheDCNF last week, “Something needs to be fixed on the website for sure.” He chalked up  his confusion about his health care options up to fatigue. “I saw so many numbers in one night, I was tired,” he said..

Stockman’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.