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Friday, October 21, 2016

House Republicans held their first hearing to grill the creators behind the website on Thursday.

Having discovered a genuine, verifiable problem with the president’s signature legislative accomplishment — the site just doesn’t work as designed — Republicans seized the opportunity to focus on nonsense.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) split hairs over an HTML comment that was mistakenly left inside the code and has no bearing on the functionality of the site.

“You know it’s not HIPAA-compliant,” Barton said to Sheryl Campbell, the senior vice president at CGI Federal, the chief contractor behind the site. “Admit it! You’re under oath!”

The congressman was referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which protects the privacy of patients’ medical records.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) defended Campbell by pointing out a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act — it bans the concept of pre-existing conditions. Thus medical history is irrelevant and not part of any application.

“So once again, here we have my Republican colleagues trying to scare everybody—” Pallone said.

When Barton tried to get Pallone to yield back the floor, the congressman from New Jersey said, ” No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this thing is.”

“This is not a monkey court,” Barton responded.

We’ll leave it to PolitiFact to rule on this controversy.

Joe Pallone Monkey Court

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Brett Zink

    This is what Democrats, Independents, and Moderate Republicans (are there any?) should be doing…

    • John Pigg

      Depends on the day you catch me…
      Either moderate Republican, Liberal Republican, or extremely conservative Democrat.

      • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

        John, as you have seen from my posts, I am an admitted Great Society Liberal Democrat, but I have noted that you and I have often taken opposite sides in a different way, with you often taking the more liberal side of a discussion while I take a more conservative approach. I guess this means you and I would be better suited for Congress than most of the Yahoos in office.

        • Ford Truck

          Hell, the kids in my granddaughters 4th grade class would be better suited for Congress than most of them holding those offices! At least they usually know how to play together.

        • asiaman496

          The sad fact is that you are RIGHT…
          But the saddest part is that an intelligent person can not run for office…because no money…

        • John Pigg

          A person is smart, but people are stupid. (a good quote from a bad movie)

          I think most voters have far more diverse opinions than is present in major political parties. Just like I think most legislators are very intelligent and even prone to making compromise. But I think our ideological parties positions, forces them to operate similar to European parties instead of traditional, middle of the road, compromise prone, American Parties.

          I desperately want to see the GOP develop a Liberal, and Moderate wing. Almost as much as I want the Democratic Party to develop conservative and progressive factions. Once there is more choice within both parties, government can transition from talking points to discussions of policy.

          The kind of discussions that most Americans, like you and myself are capable of.

  • Sand_Cat

    Once again, the hypocrites are outraged that the program they hate and want to destroy has start-up problems. Guess the whole thing would be A-OK if the website worked well and was “HIPAA-compliant,” right?

    • jmprint

      It has glitches, but I am one to testify it works. I will be insured as of 1-1-2014, Thank God, and President Obama, otherwise I would still be uninsured as of 1-1-2014.

  • 4sanity4all

    The hearing was so predictable. Democrats asked sensible questions, Republicans asked inflammatory questions. Some Democrats used their time to allay fears and encourage people to enroll, while Republicans nit-picked and made speeches. Then other Democrats called out Republicans for being jerks. While the people being grilled looked weary, and avoided promising a date when the web site will finally be fixed. So, it went about as I thought it would.

    • jointerjohn

      I have been a locally elected official for more than twenty years, serving as a city alderman and a county commissioner. Along the way I have voted against many measures that passed over my objection. Never once did I do anything except count my loss, and then hope the measure I felt was a mistake would succeed. Once in place, I felt it was my duty to hope I might be wrong, and it would turn out alright. To intentionally sabotage a democratically established public measure is no different than vandalizing a public building because you didn’t agree with it being built. It’s a crime, plain and simple. What if an officer in the military ordered a combat action and the soldiers who disagreed intentionally screwed it up? Uh-huh, exactly. There is a wide difference between dissenters and saboteurs.

  • Patti

    Pallone was excellent – calling out repubs was perfect. I always think repubs can go no lower but they always do. They are down in the muck now and hopefully they’ll stay there. I understand they don’t like Obamacare – well guess what – that’s too flipping bad. A lot of us do like it and want it to work. And it will work and the lunatics on the right know it. They act like no one remembers what they were trying to do in the shutdown. Because it was so long ago. And I have one last thing to say to them. Repubs maybe your voters are too stupid to understand what you’re about but here in the reality based world (the blue states of America) we fully understand what you’re trying to do and guess what else – we don’t like it and we don’t like you.

    • jmprint

      Thank you, well said and ditto.

  • Jim Suchetski

    Pallone is right

    • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

      Yes he was right. When they rolled out Medicare Part D it was not smooth sailing. Here are comments made by three Republicans about Medicare Part D Rollout and those three are suffering from selective memory now:

      John Boehner comments about glitches in Medicare Part D: “The implementation,” the Republican leader said, “has been horrendous. We’ve made it far more complicated than it should be.” Boehner was far from alone in pushing to fix the problematic law, rather than repealing or dismantling it.

      Joe Barton said of Medicare Part D: “This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) on Feb. 15, 2006. “My goal is the same as yours: Get rid of the glitches.” “Rather than trying to scare and confuse seniors, I would hope that we can work together as we go through the implementation phase to find out what is wrong with the program and if we can make some changes to fix it, let us do it and let us do it on a bipartisan basis,” Barton pleaded during an Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on March 6, 2006. “We owe that to all of the millions of Medicare beneficiaries.”

      Tim Murphy said of Medicare Part D: “Any time something is new, there is going to be some glitches,” Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) said on April 6, 2006. “No matter what one does in life, when it is something new in learning the
      ropes of it, it is going to take a little adjustment.”

      • Landsende

        When are politicians going to learn that their hypocrisy is going to come back and bite them in the ass?

      • nirodha

        Joe Barton-YOU LIE!!!

  • Jim Myers

    Intellectual geniuses of the Conservative bent.

    • asiaman496


      • Jim Myers

        Great comment, particularly since you managed to do it with a single word.


  • nana4gj

    I loved Pallone putting this ignorant Texan in his place. I wish more would put all of them from my state, those Texas Republicans are some of the dumbest and ugliest and most offensive and none of them have accomplished anything worthwhile in years and years. They just go to occupy a space and prevent anything from happening, while here in State government, they slash and burn everything. Oh, and sue the President every time something they do wrong is challenged or if they are asked to participate in ACA, they sue. My experience with Republicans in State government is awful. I don’t want them anywhere near Congress or the WH. If it weren’t for the Federal gov’t, Justice Dept, we’d be in an even bigger mess.

    • jmprint

      You are so right, I’m from Texas and am disgusted with all republicans, even the supporters, they are so blind and brain washed.

    • Landsende

      I’m also from Texas and it has the highest number of uninsured in the nation, highest property taxes and low paying jobs all courtesy of republican legislators who only care about the 1%.

  • FT66

    The man was quite right. It was the Monkey Court, with republicans doing Monkey Business and no one understood what they were doing, if not only confusing people more.

  • howa4x

    Pallone actually showed a chart with headlines about the glitches in Medicare part D pharmaceutical plan rollout and republicans asking for patience. This once again shows their hypocrisy.

  • ConstablePlod

    It’s about time we heard some truths from the Democratic side of the debate.
    I’ve lived in countries with national healthcare for 60 years, it’s not perfect but it works and it averages out to equal care for all at an affordable price.

    But the Dems really need to polish their message.
    This response by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) was factually good but Pallone needs to sit down with a media pro and learn to present his message with far more gravitas. For a start, stop bobbing the head and making the weary voice, it’s distracting and we end up “checking you out” rather than listening to your message.
    Hey, we just flipped over from X Factor or the Kardashians, you need to grab your audience. Sit up straight and Walter Cronkite them. Don’t play the Republican game of scrapping over every detail, deliver clear facts and refuse to respond to baiting.
    Responding to the avalanche of propaganda from the Republicans with a similar whiny tone has no effect on the converted.

    The message is there, the message is good, but the delivery sucks and it gets lost.

  • highpckts

    Boy, I knew they would latch onto that! It didn’t take them long!! What farces they are!!

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Good, that you are telling it like it really is the House of Clowns! Republican monkey court is at again, wasting more of
    our tax payer’s money to conduct another politician clown attack show on
    Affordable Health Care Law. Americans want to know about the for the 45 House
    idiots members of the tea party that shut down our government that will be held
    accountable for the tax payers $26 billion losses and damage to our economy as
    well as the 16 days of paid vacations to federal employees that were prevented
    from going work to provide us service? Read the facts below:–business.html

  • yeehaw

    @Silence….And why do you associate the word monkey with the Congressional Black Caucus?