News

Obamacare’s ‘Glitch Girl’ disappears amid Internet speculation

Obamacare’s ‘Glitch Girl’ disappears amid Internet speculation

'GLITCH GIRL': Frustrated users unleashed their ire on the mystery woman, venting on Twitter and other social media. Photo: Associated Press

By Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters) – Hers was the face that launched 20 million snipes.

The smiling wholesome beauty was a symbol of Healthcare.gov but she has vanished amid a sea of frustrated users, her image taken down from the trouble-plagued Obamacare website by early Monday morning.

Nicknamed “Glitch Girl,” the unnamed model stirred curiosity among media who scrambled to try to identify her after the site, which went live on October 1, was immediately slowed by technical problems and visitors found themselves endlessly staring at her on their frozen computer screens.

So far, 20 million unique users have clicked on the federal site, but only 700,000 applications have been submitted through a combination of the site and state-run Obamacare exchanges, according to testimony prepared for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to deliver to a Congressional panel on Wednesday.

Frustrated users unleashed their ire on the mystery woman, venting on Twitter and other social media.

“The #obamacare girl got the worst photo shoot gig since Joey did the STD poster on Friends,” tweeted @RONCOULTER, referring to the sitcom character’s shock when he discovered that his modeling picture had been used in a campaign about venereal disease.

After the Obamacare girl disappeared from the site, social media users rallied to support the mystery woman, whose image file on the site is named “Adriana.”

“It’s not the obamacare cover girl they need to fire,” tweeted @joepatton.

Others said they planned to dress up as her character on Halloween.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the website, was not immediately available for comment.

The government has replaced “Adriana” with four chunky icons that represent ways to sign up for the new mandatory health insurance. Creative critics have suggested other stand-ins, including the ghoulish Freddy Krueger character from the film series “A Nightmare on Elm Street” or Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

The mystery surrounding the Obamacare girl may only deepen as new theories about her disappearance are tested online.

“Wasn’t Manti T’eo dating #ObamacareGirl?” tweeted @MonteBlachford, referring to the Notre Dame football star who admitted he lied to keep up a hoax involving a nonexistent dying girlfriend.

Recent Headlines

6 hours ago in Sports

The weekend sports schedule

superbowlball

Here’s a look at some of this weekend’s major sporting events.

7 hours ago in Sports

The week’s best sports shots

Mark Macaspac leaps off the Super Bowl 50 sign inside Super Bowl City Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in San Francisco. The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A look at some of the biggest moments and best plays in sports this week.

7 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: Puppies predict Super Bowl 50

15-overlay-5

Right or wrong, one thing is for sure: these puppies are adorable!

7 hours ago in Sports

Broncos, Panthers set to deliver Super finish to season

16-overlay-4

The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are primed to provide a grand finish worthy of a landmark Super Bowl 50 on Sunday and cap a season of celebration by the National Football League.

7 hours ago in National

Making headlines this week

sb50

A look back at some of the biggest stories this week and the headlines you may have missed.