Shortly before 7 PM on Tuesday, the first day online enrollment was available, Obama for American volunteer Chad Henderson tweeted out: "Enrolled in #Obamacare just now! Looking forward to having affordable healthcare for the first time!"
Chad also included the twitter handles of some local news media organizations to ensure that the Georgia native's announcement would get attention. And it did. The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post all interviewed Chad.
There's just one problem. His story isn't true.
Doubt's about Chad's account began today when Reason health care write Peter Suderman reported that, contra Chad's claims, Chad's dad Bill, had not signed up for a health care plan. "We haven’t decided which plans to enroll in yet," Bill told Suderman.
Now The Washington Post's Sara Kliff has circled back with Chad, who has recanted half of his story:
Sarah Kliff: So let me make sure I understand things right here. You went through the part of the website where you entered in your information and found out what you qualified for, and that's done. And you got to the part where you can compare plans, but you have not purchased a plan?
Chad Henderson: We have not purchased a specific.The application has information and once you submit it, it reviews eligibility. Obviously I'm not eligible for Medicaid because our governor isn't expanding it. And that’s what I meant by enrollment. I had assumed that I never said I purchased a plan or enrolled in marketplace. I’m not backing down on my comments. I have not misled anyone.
Sarah Kliff: I think where a lot of us got confused is you said you had enrolled in a plan when you haven't purchased a health plan. You told us the amount of the premium you were going to pay.
Chad Henderson: I understand that. I was giving you guys a number as to what I’m choosing.
But here is what Chad told multiple outlets Tuesday, including The Post. "I had to wait like everybody else," he said. "Millions of people apparently got on the Web site. It took me til about 3 a.m. to create an account. That was probably the longest thing. After creating an account and getting logged in, it was pretty smooth sailing."
But if all Chad did Tuesday was submit an application, and he still has not actually enrolled in a specific plan yet, then what exactly "was pretty smooth sailing"? And if it took him till 3AM to create an account, why the tweet at 7 PM?
Considering how much of President Obama's autobiography turned out to be complete fiction, it is quite fitting that the story of the first person enrolled in his health care plan is fiction too.
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