Surprise, surprise... Republicans have decided to use the first Congressional hearing on what went wrong with the rollout of the healthcare.gov web site to try to fearmonger and scare Americans away from signing up for the exchanges. Things got contentious when Rep. Frank Pallone called out old Smokey Joe Barton for doing just that: House Dem Rips GOP's HealthCare.gov Hearing As 'Monkey Court':
During the House Energy and Commerce Committee's hearing on HealthCare.gov's launch, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) ripped the hearing as a "monkey court" used by his Republican colleagues to bash the Affordable Care Act.
He seized on a line of questioning from Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who suggested that the private health information of Americans was at risk because of the website's poor design.
"I started out in my opening statement saying there was no legitimacy to this hearing and the last line of the questioning certainly confirms that. HIPAA only applies when there's health information being provided," Pallone said. "That's not in play here today. No health information is required in the application process. And why is that? Because pre-existing conditions don't matter. So once again, here we have my Republican colleagues trying to scare everybody."
"If the gentleman will yield..." Barton interjected.
"No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever," Pallone barked.
"This is not monkey court," Barton objected.
"Do whatever you want. I am not yielding," Pallone said.
Barton wasn't the only one using that line of questioning during the hearing. Prior to Barton badgering the contractor on whether she thought they were violating HIPAA laws, Rep. Marsha Blackburn was making the same claims. I expect we all just got a preview of what they'll be repeating ad nauseam on Fox for the next week or so.