'Mona Lisa' of Obamacare a perfect symbol
ABC News' Good Morning America found and interviewed the smiling, mysterious woman who initially greeted visitors to the failed website.
And what a perfect greeter she is, symbolizing everything wrong with not only the site but the philosophy underlying it and those who promote it.
She is "pure Colombian," a "permanent resident," living in the US with her husband, a US citizen and son, a US citizen.
She wanted free pictures of her family from the US government so she offered to allow the US government to use the pictures in exchange.
She whines about "cyberbullying" when people photoshop the photo and otherwise mock it.
And, oh yes, she was never paid.
The smiling woman who was once the face of the Affordable Care Act's website has come out of the shadows to stand up to the "cyberbullying" she says she suffered after the law's flawed kickoff.
Speaking exclusively to ABC News, Adriana, who asked that only her first name be used, said she was speaking out now to defend herself after weeks of enduring online lampooning.
"They have nothing else to do but hide behind the computer. They're cyberbullying," Adriana told ABC News' Amy Robach.
"I'm here to stand up for myself and defend myself and let people know the truth," she said.
Seeking free family photographs, Adriana emailed a contact at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency responsible for the Affordable Care Act's rollout, about having photos of her and her family taken in exchange for allowing the photos to be used to market the new health care law. She was never paid.
She learned over the summer that her photo would be on healthcare.gov's main page, but she didn't realize it would become so closely associated with the problems of the glitchy website.
"I mean, I don't know why people should hate me because it's just a photo. I didn't design the website. I didn't make it fail, so I don't think they should have any reasons to hate me," Adriana told ABC News.
Speculation swirled that Adriana might not be a legal resident of the United States, and therefore not even eligible for the health care exchanges. Adriana said she is a wife and mother who lives in Maryland with her 21-month-old son and husband of six and a half years. Her husband is a U.S. citizen, as is his her son. Adriana, who is Colombian, said she has lived legally in the U.S. for more than six years, is currently a permanent resident and is applying for citizenship.
Though she is eligible for healthcare through the ACA, Adriana says she hasn't signed up for it, and is neither in favor nor against it.
"I'm pure Colombian," she said, laughing.
"They didn't ruin my life. I still have a job, I'm still married," Adriana said. "That didn't really crush me to the ground. I'm fine. Now I laugh about it."
Well, Obamacare does cover mental health care counseling.
But she still won't give us her last name or other details.
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