U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the failures of the Affordable Care Act enrollment website on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 30, 2013.    REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH) - RTX14TXD
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was subjected to the Republican monkey court Wednesday morning, facing varied iterations of the question "what did you know about Obamacare destroying the nation and when did you know it" from her Republican questioners. Democrats didn't necessarily go easy on Sebelius, most of them expressing frustration with the bungled launch of HealthCare.gov while also focusing on the part of the law where lots more people are getting access to insurance.

Republican talking points focused on the broken website, who was to blame for the broken website and whether she and President Obama were just big ol' liars for not telling some people they would have to switch out of their crappy health insurance plans.

"Hold me accountable for the debacle. I'm responsible," Sebelius said after a heated exchange with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., about who was in charge of the website.

At times throughout the hearing, Republicans made reference to cancellation notices that some individuals have received about their insurance. Blackburn and others sought to tie those cancellations to Obama's promise during the legislative fight over health care that Americans with insurance would be able to keep such coverage under the law.

Asked if he is keeping his promise, Sebelius said, "yes, he is." She noted that insurance companies often cancel policies and that those will be replaced with new and better policies available under the law.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the ranking member of the committee, didn't harken back to his colleague Frank Pallone's monkey court characterization of previous Obamacare "oversight" hearings, but summed up Wednesday's exercise pretty well when he "rejected the GOP's description of the hearing as being 'oversight,' suggesting they were out to attack a law that will ultimately benefit millions. 'I would urge my colleagues to quit hyperventilating,' he said."

The hearing likely would have lasted all day. Republican members were so anxious to get their digs in and repeat every talking point ad nauseum that the committee's chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) had to cut their time for questions diatribes in half, from four minutes to two. See, he had a tight schedule to make. The House was adjourning early on Wednesday so that members could take another two weeks off. That's right, they're so concerned about conducting proper oversight of Obamacare and everything else that the government does, they've decided that they don't need to come back to work until Nov. 12.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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