The Cover Model Of Healthcare.gov Rollout Speaks Out

(Good Morning America)

(Good Morning America)

Imagine having millions of people, everyone from frustrated citizens to prominent comedians, making jokes about your appearance and speculating about your life story based on one photo. That’s what life has been like for Adriana, a woman who sat to have her picture taken for a stock photo and ended up as the face of a government fiasco.

Yes, we’re talking about Healthcare.gov, the federal government portal that handles health insurance shopping and enrollment and subsidy applications for people who don’t receive insurance through their employers and who are residents of the 36 states that declined to set up their own exchanges. The reasons why this happened and the real-life fallout of the site’s failure could fill hundreds of pages, and ProPublica has done a great job covering the competing narratives about why the site isn’t quite working as planned. What happens when a person who has no real involvement in the policy or technical aspects of a site like this literally becomes the face of a brand in peril?

In case you haven’t seen it plastered on every surface or acquired your own personal hatred of her as you tried to apply for your own insurance, this is the stock photo we’re talking about:

Password reset confusion.

Password reset confusion.

Adriana appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” today to prove that yes, she is a real person. And no, she didn’t program the site by herself.

She’s a pretty typical American: she’s a parent, a wife, and gainfully employed. She’s a legal immigrant from Colombia and a permanent U.S. resident, despite conspiracy-mongers’ claims online that the site mascot was an illegal immigrant. She moved here about six years ago. And she’s human: people making fun of her on the Internet makes her sad.

“I’m glad that my [21-month-old] son is not old enough to understand, because you know whatever happens to you, it hurts them too,” she told interviewer Amy Robach.

Obamacare’s Mystery Woman Says She Fell Victim to Cyberbullies [Good Morning America]