Society

Model For Obamacare Website Felt Cyberbullied By Critics

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The model who appeared on the homepage of Healthcare.gov says she felt bullied after the Obamacare rollout sparked controversy last month.

A woman, who identified herself only as Adriana, told ABC News she was not paid for appearing on the website.

She says she doesn’t understand "why people should hate me because it's just a photo.''

“They have nothing else to do but hide behind the computer. They’re cyberbullying,” Adriana said.

Adriana is a Colombian national living in Maryland. As a non-citizen she is not eligible for Obamacare. She has lived in the U.S. for more than six years and is applying for citizenship. She said her husband and son are both U.S. citizens.

She said the jeers from late-night comics and abuse from critics was humiliating.

“I mean, I don’t know why people should hate me because it’s just a photo,” she said “I didn’t design the Web site. I didn’t make it fail, so I don’t think they should have any reasons to hate me.”

Her picture was taken at the agency responsible for the rollout of Healthcare.gov in exchange for free family portraits, The Post reported.

She wasn’t expecting to receive a widespread negative response.

“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.”

Her picture was removed from the site two weeks ago as pundits and TV personalities became curious about the identity of the “face of Obamacare.”

“They took the picture down. I wanted the picture down, and they wanted the picture down. I don’t think anybody wanted to focus on the picture,” she said.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services says the picture wasn’t taken down because Adriana requested it, but because “Healthcare.gov is a dynamic website.”

Sources: New York Daily News, New York Post