Obamacare model from health care website felt bullied by cri
nydaily news | 2013-12-01 21:16


The model whose face appeared on the much-maligned Obama health care website choked back tears as she told of how she felt intimidated by harsh public criticism of the program.
The woman, who identified herself only as "Adriana'' in an interview with ABC News, says she was never paid for appearing on the website's home page. She describes that she innocently sent her photo to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, after the agency sought free photos of American families.

She submitted a picture but was not paid for the image.
Little did she know that she would become the poster child for the failed Obamacare website and would be on the receiving end of scorn from those frustrated with the failed rollout.
"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 said during her ABC News interview.
Adriana, who is from Colombia, says in the interview broadcast Wednesday that reaction to the website amounted to "some form of bullying.''

She says she doesn't know "why people should hate me because it's just a photo.''
"It was upsetting. It was sad. We were having a hard day when we read all this," she said.
"And in a way, I'm glad that my son is not old enough to understand, because you know whatever happens to you, it hurts them, too."

Many scoffers suggested the model was an illegal alien, but though she is not an American citizen, the woman is currently a permanent resident and is applying for citizenship. Her husband is a U.S. citizen and the couple live in Maryland with their 21-month-old son.
Adriana's photo has been removed from the website, but a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services says it was not taken down at the request of the model.
"I don't think anybody wanted to focus on the picture," she says about the incident.

The website has been the subject of scorn by both Republicans and Democrats as technical problems have sharply restricted the number of people who have signed up for new program. Congress has been holding hearings on the issue.
Despite the emotional episode over the image, Adriana says she is trying to move on and focus on the positive.

"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."

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