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It's interesting to watch Republicans in the House of Misrepresentatives demagogue over Obamacare with their pretend "outrage" that citizens are allegedly not getting the health insurance they had expected or hoped (as if Republicans actually ever really cared whether people had health insurance or not). They are also feigning outrage that the healthcare.gov website is not yet operating as hoped or planned (despite that they would prefer that it not operate at all).

That's all well and good. And there's nothing wrong with highlighting problems that need to be fixed. Except, in this case, Republicans have no intention of "fixing" anything. They are using these hearings in the House of Misrepresentatives for purely partisan political purposes. They are simply using these hearings, and taxpayer dollars, to trash the  Affordable Health Care Act in order to try to create enough of a firestorm to engender enough public support for their position to enable them to kill the program altogether.


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But what's being lost in all of this are stories about all of those folks who are actually  benefitting from the Affordable Care Act, including the state exchanges and, yes, the national healthcare.gov website.

Here's a proposal: Since the House is misusing its power to try to scare everyone into thinking that the Affordable Care Act is more of a problem than a help, why doesn't the Senate hold its own hearings, to try to balance out the House's demagoguery with real-world information?

These Senate hearings should focus on problems that might need to be fixed, as well. And then the appropriate Senate committees can make recommendations for fixing these problems. But that's the last thing Republicans want: to point out that all of their alleged "outrage" is, basically, just a bunch of hot air.

However, instead of merely obsessing on the the things Republicans don't like about Obamacare, perhaps the Senate could also focus on other aspects, as well. Such as hearing from all of those folks who have benefited from the exchanges. It might also be interesting to hear from some of those folks whose health insurance policies have changed because of attempts to get rid of "junk insurance" (policies with high detuctibles and which cover very little), but who don't mind or who can afford it. Perhaps the Senate can ask those folks to explain more detail about exactly what is in those policies (not much coverage, in many cases, with those paying $50 a month for junk insurance).

In fact, if done correctly, the Senate could use this as a "teachable moment" to help educate the American public about what a sham most of those junk health insurance policies are and why there was a need to set minimum standards as to what health insurance coverage actually should be.

It would also be interesting to learn more about whether all of these folks complaining about their policies being changed due to enhanced standards mandated by Obamacare are, in fact, telling the truth. Are premiums really being increased 400 percent (as was alleged by one person on NBC News tonight), or is that just one option of many? Do they have other options?

My guess is that beneath all of the angst by those folks who are allegedly "losing" their existing health insurance policies, they aren't really losing much of anything at all, except pretend health insurance.

Regardless of what comes out of it, however, it seems to me that it would at least be worthwhile holding fair and balanced hearings that try to give a full picture, unlike the House hearings, which are designed for one purpose and one purpose alone: to serve the propaganda purposes of the Republican National Committee.

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Originally posted to wdrath on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM PDT.

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