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U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) stand together at a news conference at the Republican National Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
It's not clear what House Republicans thought they would get out of a hearing with health insurance executives Thursday Wednesday morning. They apparently intended to prove that Obamacare was failing and that only 67 percent of who signed up weren't paying their premiums, but some of those executives have publicly panned Republican efforts to downplay Obamacare enrollments as "incredibly rigged," and they've been saying for the last few weeks that people are paying up at a rate of over 80 percent.

But the Republicans went ahead and had their hearing and it was a disaster for them. So much so, some Republican members slinked out of the hearing well before it was over.

Democratic lawmakers were emboldened to defend the Affordable Care Act with renewed vigor and levity, creating a dynamic rarely seen in the debate over ObamaCare.

Adding to the irregularity, exits on the Republican side at a subcommittee hearing led by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) allowed multiple Democrats to speak in a row and let heavy Democratic criticisms of Republicans go unanswered, a contrast with the heated exchanges of last fall. […]

But Republicans were visibly exasperated as insurers failed to confirm certain assumptions about ObamaCare, such as the committee's allegation that one-third of federal exchange enrollees have not paid their first premium.

Four out of five companies represented said more than 80 percent of their new customers had paid. The fifth, Cigna, did not offer an estimate.

Reality is so often exasperating, especially if you are a Republican.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed May 07, 2014 at 12:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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