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The MSM’s not-so-surprising lack of curiosity about the new poster boy for Obamacare; Updated

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By Doug Powers  •  October 3, 2013 10:48 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Of all the people who have signed up (or at least tried to) for health insurance on an Obamacare exchange, the media and administration officials seems to be focused on only one person: His name is Chad Henderson.

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Henderson is just a regular, random 21-year-old guy, so we’re told, who is apparently being prepped for his close-up as a sort of male counterpart to Sandra Fluck.

Search his name combined with “Obamacare” and you’ll find a laundry list of articles and mentions by Obama administration officials, holding him up as a random example of somebody rescued by Obamacare.

Here’s Henderson describing his wild, totally coincidental ride so far:

I’ve now been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Huffington Post, Enroll America, and POLITICO!! Those stories will be published in the coming days. I have a press conference call with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services later tonight. Also, local folks….. my interview with Kimberly Barbour Wrcb-tv will be aired TONIGHT at 5:30pm on WRCB Channel 3 Eyewitness News so be sure to check it out thanks for all your support!

One of Henderson’s glowing reviews of Obamacare was also re-tweeted by Kathleen Sebelius.

As Mediaite pointed out, the press doesn’t really seem to have much interest in this item in Henderson’s LinkedIn profile:

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It’s been called “Organizing for Action” since January, so they go back a ways. Henderson’s bio on the page also lists some of his activities within the Democratic Party in Tennessee. None of those things are mentioned in articles such as this one in the Washington Post. Ditto for this HuffPo article about Henderson. “Reporters” can be incredibly incurious when they apply themselves.

You’d think these things might warrant at least a tiny “full disclosure” kind of mention in some of the many profiles of Henderson. If the Republicans were passing this guy off as a “Joe Sixpack” type who was being helped by one of their programs, and his bio mentioned an affiliation with, say, Crossroads GPS, not only would that get mentioned in MSM stories, it would be the story.
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But let’s wipe all that off the table for a moment. Using Henderson as an Obamacare “success story” is a joke in and of itself regardless of his background, according to Michael Cannon at Cato:

Kliff reports that after a three-hour ordeal, Chad bought an Obamacare plan that cost him $175 per month – pretty steep, considering he makes less than $11,500 per year. His Obamacare premium comes to least 18 percent of his income. And no, Chad is not eligible for subsidies.

Compare that to what Chad could have paid if he bought one of the pre-Obamacare plans still available on eHealthInsurance.com until December 31. The cheapest such plan for someone meeting Chad’s profile is just $44.72 – as little as 5 percent of his annual income and about one-quarter of his Obamacare premium.

I can’t yet say whether Chad’s $175 premium is the lowest-cost plan available to him through the Exchange. (I’m in the process of researching that. Let’s just say it’ll probably take a few hours.) But it’s probably close. The cheapest plan available to him through eHealthInsurance.com after Obamacare’s community-rating price controls take effect in 2014, and drive up premiums for young, healthy people market-wide, is $190.23. That’s with the maximum cost-sharing allowed under Obamacare. So it appears Obamacare quadrupled Chad’s premiums, and Enroll America thinks that is a success story.

Forward!

Update:

It gets even better: According to Henderson’s father, the poster boy for Obamacare hasn’t even yet signed up for Obamacare!

Update II:

Seriously, out of all the people the administration brags are signing up for Obamacare coverage through the exchanges, they make their poster boy somebody who never even enrolled for coverage? I guess nothing should surprise me anymore, but they never cease to amaze.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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