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.
Sebelius doesn’t seem to know anything about the law she is implementing
During the hearing, Sebelius said that Healthcare.gov has “never crashed.” CNN offered up this brutal split screen as she made the claim.
Sebelius also claimed that there is “no data” that shows that Americans are losing their jobs or having their work hours cut due to Obamacare’s mandates. Here’s some data for her to ignore.
Sebelius also claimed that it is “illegal” for her to enter the Obamacare exchange to buy insurance, even though it is not. She can buy insurance on the exchange if she chooses to. She also refused to state whether if it is legal for her to buy insurance on the exchanges, that she would do it, until a Democrat forced her to say that she might. When Sebelius got cornered on accountability for Healthcare.gov’s failure and the broader problems with Obamacare, Sebelius huffed “Whatever.” Hardly a confidence-inspiring sequence.
Obamacare forces single men to buy maternity coverage
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) grilled Sebelius about the Obamacare mandate forcing people to buy coverage they may not need. Sebelius ended up defending a mandate that forces men to purchase maternity coverage, because “some men need” it for their wives. She let stand Ellmers’ accurate statement that Obamacare forces a typical single 30-year-old single man to buy insurance that covers maternity, coverage he was not forced to buy before Obamacare.
Democrats will defend Obama’s “if you like your healthcare, you can keep it” promise forever, long after it has been exposed as a lie
This isn’t complicated. Democrats from President Obama on down oversold Obamacare to get it passed, and despite that shabby sales job, a majority of Americans opposed it at that time and have consistently opposed it. No Republican voted for it. The Obama administration delayed the law’s imposition until after the 2012 election to avoid having to pay the electoral price for its most problematic parts. If the problems Americans are experiencing now had taken place in October 2012, Mitt Romney would probably be president. Having oversold the law with a Gatling gun of lies, they’re now stuck arguing that down is up, the sky is the floor, and Obamacare is really really good even though it’s really really bad. Their response to accurate accusations that they lied before and are lying now are best summed up by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, during today’s hearing: “Get over it.” Democrats would never utter those three words regarding laws they oppose or want curtailed, such as the Second Amendment. They still fight the Bush tax cuts and blame those cuts for a slew of ills — they have obviously chosen not to “get over it.” Democrats will not countenance repealing Obamacare, ever, no matter how badly it turns out to be, because they staked everything on it. In poker terms, Barack Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the entire Democratic Party went “all in” on a law that most of them never read before passing. They will only give it up when their power is taken away from them.