Meet the guy who (maybe) got his ObamaCare on Day One
By: John Hayward
10/4/2013 09:20 AM
Move over, Dos Equis Guy! You’re no longer the Most Interesting Man in the World. The torch has been passed to the media’s new heartthrob, a young man named Chad Henderson who appears to be the only person in America who got signed up for ObamaCare on Day One.
That’s not much of an exaggeration, really, and it gives you a good idea why Administration flacks are suddenly claiming the billion-dollar ObamaCare computer system is a ridiculously outmoded hunk of junk that can’t produce launch-day enrollment figures for a month. Bear with them while they change a few blown vacuum tubes and feed some more punch cards into the system!
The national media went nuts trying to find someone they could use as the poster child for Launch Day. In state after state, there were reports of zero successful applicants… including Kansas, home state of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Reporters spoke of calling hundreds of people and finding no one who actually bought a policy from the ObamaCare exchanges.
Avik Roy at Forbes quoted an insurance industry source who said, “Very, very few people that we’re aware of have enrolled in the federal exchange. We are talking single digits.” Roy found this unsurprising, noting that “two-thirds of the uninsured are America are under the age of 40,” and even if they had the patience to use the ridiculous hunk of junk the Administration blew all that tax money on – “What idiot put this system out there?” asked a disbelieving John McAfee, founder of the antivirus software company, predicting that identity thieves will have a field day with Obama’s crapware – the kids are going to recoil from the 60 percent, 90 percent, and even higher premium increases awaiting them. And that’s a big problem, because ObamaCare can only survive by turning young revenue targets upside down and shaking them until money falls out of their pockets.
Finding a young person who actually enrolled in ObamaCare was therefore a top priority for the White House press off… er, excuse me, the mainstream media. And they finally found one. One. Chad Henderson of Tennessee put an “Enrolled in ObamaCare!” notice on his Facebook page, and soon White House advisers just happened to notice it – shazam! – and pass it along to the media, which formed a comical dogpile at Henderson’s doorstep.
“I’ve now been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Huffing post, Enroll America, and Politico,” bubbled Henderson, who adores the latter website so much that he rendered its name as “POLITICO!!” He also announced a press conference call with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and several local media outlets.
What a breathtaking rush of media and official attention! And it all started when this entirely random, perfectly average, politically unconnected, I-am-so-NOT-a-prop young man put up a Facebook post that was almost instantly spotted by people at the White House. Okay, maybe they had some help from the NSA. Anyway, Chad couldn’t be happier, squealing that he accepts all those media interview requests “with honor, knowing that I am helping the President make history by bringing out the facts on ObamaCare!!”
Wow, you couldn’t ask for more enthusiasm from an Obama For America volunteer!
Funny thing: it turns out Chad Henderson is an Obama For America volunteer. It’s called “Organizing For Action” these days, having magically changed from Barack Obama’s campaign apparatus into a totally non-partisan operation, which the IRS couldn’t wait to give one of those wonderful tax exemptions, to help them pursue such non-partisan activities as running Barack Obama’s official Twitter feed. The only way this story could get funnier would be the revelation that Chad Henderson is one of the people who puts out Twitter messages under Obama’s name.
It took the multiple layers of editorial fact-checking at our vaunted mainstream media a long time to discover this rather relevant affiliation. (Try to imagine an equivalent scenario, in which a young Republican political activist was touted by a swarm of major media organizations as the poster child for a Republican program, without efforts to vet his political connections.)
Henderson himself seems like a pleasant, earnest fellow, who insists his OFA volunteer work is not relevant to his opinion of ObamaCare, which is not actually unalloyed praise. He told the Daily Caller he could “see why someone would give up instead of waiting for a long time” to use the ObamaCare system, adding that “something needs to be fixed on the website for sure.” But he’s also either dishonest or incredibly naive to keep insisting he was a randomly selected young “success story” who just happened to pop up on the Administration’s radar because he wrote a Facebook post and sent out a Tweet.
To any rational person, his story is a powerful argument for ObamaCare repeal. A multi-billion-dollar system, pushed with a billion-dollar propaganda slush fund and massive celebrity endorsements for months, and intensive searches by both our bloated Administration and enormous pro-Obama media could only turn up one satisfied customer? That’s an unmitigated disaster of cosmic proportions. Our Founding Fathers would wonder why we aren’t bringing Obama’s people up on charges to find out where all the money went. Well, okay, they would have died of shame and horror when they found out how ObamaCare worked, and how it was rammed through Congress, but since we’re already raising them from the grave to get their take on the Chad Henderson story, we can resurrect them more than once, especially seeing as how it’s getting close to Halloween.
Henderson isn’t literally the only young person who bought into ObamaCare, despite his absurdly high media profile. James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal found another one: 30-year-old law student Brendan Mahoney. He already had a reasonably priced insurance plan, but he plugged into the ObamaCare exchange… and it put him on Medicaid, where taxpayers will cover his freight until he can comfortably settle into his six-figure career.
Taranto concludes, “So the great success story of ObamaCare’s first day is the transformation of a future lawyer who was already paying for insurance into a welfare case.”
Update: What could make this a more quintessentially Obama story? How about if Chad Henderson is lying about signing up for ObamaCare?
His own father “contradicted virtually every detail of the story the media can’t get enough of” during an interview with Reason, and says neither the elder or junior Henderson has enrolled for ObamaCare coverage yet.
Reason’s Peter Suderman adds that “some of the details that Chad has released are also at odds with published rate schedules and how ObamaCare officials say the enrollment system works.” So there’s a good chance that the “poster boy for ObamaCare” is not just a plant, but a complete fraud.
Update: Henderson is trying to wriggle out of his father’s damning interview by saying all those reporters were misquoting him, and he never claimed to have actually bought any ObamaCare insurance, he merely applied for it. Which would make him a complete non-story, and should provoke a tidal wave of follow-up pieces in all those websites – including his fave, POLITICO!! - retracting their stories and admitting they misled their readers.
Except… Henderson was then caught having sent out Twitter messages pointing to the Facebook page of Organizing for America, which explicitly stated that he and his father “logged on to healthcare.gov and bought affordable quality health care insurance for the first time.”
Henderson said “it’s time to make sure more stories like mine become a reality!” But his was never a reality. The only thing noteworthy about Version 26.5 of the Chad Henderson saga is that he managed to get past all the error messages and submit an application, assuming he’s telling the truth about that.