Be sure to see the important update at the bottom of this post.
Chad Henderson is a 21-year-old Chattanooga State University student who works part-time at a day-care facility and had been without health insurance for the last 14 years.
So when the opportunity to sign up for Obamacare came Oct. 1, Henderson jumped on it. The whole process took him about three hours and ended at 3 a.m., but he got what he was looking for.
So what's his monthly premium? Henderson, who reportedly earns $11,500 annually, will pay $175 per month under Obamacare, about 18% of his yearly income.
"It was a little more than I was expecting," he tells the Washington Post. "I like the doctor benefits, but I would have really liked a plan that includes dental and vision, since I have contacts. That kind of stuff I would have preferred."
Henderson likely could have received health insurance for as little as $44.72 on eHealthInsurance.com before Obamacare, according to Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute. And with Obamacare’s community-rating price controls that take effect in 2014, Henderson’s cheapest plan option on eHealthInsurance jumped up to $190.23.
“So it appears that Obamacare quadrupled Chad’s premiums, and Enroll America thinks this is a success story,” Cannon said.
But there's apparently a bigger picture here for Henderson. "I've read a few articles about how young people are very critical to the law's success," he tells the Post. "I really just wanted to do my part to help out with the entire process."
Turns out that Henderson is a big-time supporter of President Obama who wants to see Obamacare succeed. He's an Organizing for Action volunteer, which means he helped elect Obama and works "to continue his agenda," and also served as president of the Walker County Young Democrats and executive director of High School Democrats of Georgia, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Which also may explain his recent Facebook page comments, noting that he's "so freakin' excited" about sharing his Obamacare signup story with the world.
And Henderson isn't the only one who's excited: “Something major happened to me today,” he shared on Facebook Thursday. “I get off of work and find that I have 120 new notifications on my phone. Come to find out…. a few of President Obama’s top advisers had shared my ObamaCare enrollment story with their Twitter followers..."
This is what today was about: MT @ChadHenderson: enrolled in #Obamacare! Looking forward to having affordable healthcare for the first time!
— Obamacare (@obamacare) October 2, 2013
So scads of news outlets have been hounding Henderson for his story, which he's only too happy to share: "I accept these offers with honor knowing that I am helping the President make history by bringing out the facts on Obamacare!!”
Henderson tells WRCB-TV that another thing he likes about Obamacare is that it helps his baby cousin Anna Reese, who was born with half a heart; after hundreds of thousands of dollars in surgeries, he says Obamacare lifts her lifetime cap, "essentially saving her life."
Here's a report from WRCB:
UPDATE 11:08 a.m. ET:
It seems Henderson is thinking twice trumpeting Obamacare: he has now hidden or deleted several of his Facebook posts talking about all the media coverage he is getting, including the one mentioned above. However, TheBlaze was able to grab some screen shots before:
It's also worth pointing out that those posts are "sponsored." In Facebook talk, that means Henderson or someone else paid Facebook to make sure that his posts showed up prominently in the feeds of Henderson's friends. Someone, maybe Henderson, was really happy with what he was saying.
UPDATE 2:12 p.m. ET:
In a stunning development, Reason reports that it contacted Chad Henderson's father and said he is contradicting much of what his son has claimed, including the assertion that Chad signed up for Obamacare.
The author of the piece, Peter Suderman, writes that he contacted Bill Henderson by phone and that Henderson says he hasn't signed up for Obamacare, and to his knowledge, neither has his son Chad.
According to Suderman, Bill Henderson says Chad “told me that there’s different plans. And we haven’t decided which plans to enroll in yet.”
When Suderman says he asked Chad's father which if he and his son had discussed going on separate plans, Bill Henderson said, “We’ll probably go on the same plan, more than likely.” Asked if he had seen specific plan options yet, Bill Henderson told Suderman, “No, we haven’t looked over them that discrete yet. But it’s just different plans that he [Chad] has told me we’re going to go with. We’ll have to choose one of them.”
TheBlaze called Bill Henderson's listed phone number and left a message asking for further comment; he hasn't returned the call. TheBlaze also reached out to Chad Henderson to see if he can clear up this latest development, but he hasn't responded yet.
FINAL UPDATE 4:07 p.m. ET:
Turns out that Chad Henderson's father was speaking the truth. Check out TheBlaze's follow-up on this new development, which includes the transcript of an interview Chad gave Friday in which he insists "I have not misled anyone."
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