In the wake of the “defund Obamacare” standoff on Capitol Hill, which shut down the government and brought the country to near-debt default, House Republicans have begun hearings on why the federal Obamacare exchange website has got off to to a glitchy, tangled, mess of a start.
So far, the Republicans organizing the inquiries are not letting on that they see the dark humor of a move where the people most intent on hobbling the law will be asking with grave intent how it came to be hobbled. But the fact that they are switching so quickly from making dramatic public commitments to clog the works of the law through any means possible to earnest equally dramatic pronouncements of concern that the works are clogged has understandably raised questions of motive in some quarters.
In a release on this morning’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, progressive group Americans United for Change takes specific aim at Colorado member Cory Gardner, who has famously opposed the Affordable Care Act at every turn.
“It’s really rich for Republicans to be shedding crocodile tears over the glitches in the ACA website when they have done nothing for four years but try to impede, repeal and defund the law and root for its failure. This is pure, craven politics,” the organization’s president, Brad Woodhouse, says in the release.”You know Congressman Gardner doesn’t give a wit that Americans are having trouble enrolling in a health plan when his voting record reflects someone who prefers that uninsured Americans be left with no quality, affordable coverage options at all.
“This is a transparent attempt by Republicans to score political points around road bumps in the health law’s implementation and distract from the fact that they just left 120,000 Americans without jobs by shutting down the government in the name of Obamacare. It’s not fooling anyone. And it takes a lot of nerve.”
The release notes that, in May, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was went begging private insurance industry executives to help pay to set up the Obamacare exchanges after the Republican-controlled House repeatedly rejected administration requests for additional funds.