Republicans are furious that HealthCare.gov isn’t working as planned. But since when do they want it to work?
House Democrats hammered their GOP counterparts during Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ congressional hearing on the rocky rollout of Obamacare and its glitch-filled website, arguing the hearing has devolved into political theater over a law they didn’t want in the first place.
“I think it’s somewhat disingenuous for my colleagues on the other side of the podium here to have this faux anger and this faux concern over a bill that they absolutely want to fail and have rooted for its failure,” said Democratic Rep. Michael Doyle of Pennsylvania.
He noted House Republicans have taken more than 40 symbolic votes to curtail the Affordable Care Act.
“Republicans want to make sure this plan doesn’t succeed. I think their real fear is that the plan will succeed. And the American people will learn the real benefits of this plan and not this propaganda campaign that’s gone on by the Republicans in the last three years.”
Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel reiterated those concerns, saying it was “naive to actually think that Republicans want to see this law work,” pointing out how the right unsuccessfully tried earlier this month to tie any spending deal to defunding or delaying Obamacare, which almost pushed the country into default.
He called Republicans’ concerns over the site a “show,” adding, “You’re really on the wrong side of history here. The website will be fixed.”
Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California insisted the “early glitches of this rollout will soon be forgotten” and that his colleagues should “stop hyperventilating.”
Sebelius, during testimony in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, apologized for the website’s problems, but she was unable to give specific figures as to how many Americans have actually signed up.
“I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the failed launch,” Sebelius told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “You deserve better. I apologize. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems. And I’m committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site.”
White House officials have said they expect the site, which took years to build and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, to be completely fixed by the end of next month.