HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Energy Committee today to defend Obamacare and its website, Healthcare.gov. The hearing featured the usual Washington kabuki, as most members lined up along party lines to ask questions that Sebelius had no intention of answering honestly.
Here are a few things we learned during today’s hearing.
Healthcare.gov is not secure and was not tested to ensure security
Rep. Mike Rogers blasted Sebelius for the lack of security at Healthcare.gov. As he was questioning her, the AP reported that the government knew of security issues with Healthcare.gov. The security issues mean that Americans who use Healthcare.gov are putting their personal data at risk. But the Obamacare law forces millions of Americans to use that website to buy health insurance. The government, therefore, is requiring — by law — millions of Americans to put their personal data at risk to identity thieves.
Congressional hearings on serious topics get silly to generate sound bites
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) wasted part of his question time making an analogy to The Wizard of Oz because Sebelius was elected to political office from Kansas. This prompted a Democrat to defend Sebelius and Obamacare by claiming that the wizard in The Wizard of Oz offered “wonderful things.” The wizard in that movie turns out to be a fraud whose chief capability was fooling people with technological tricks, much like the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012. The entire exchange was a waste of time, but will probably show up on evening newscasts to discredit the hearing.