Sarah Jean Seman

Representative Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) dismissed Thursday's first congressional hearing on the glitch-laden launch of the Obamacare website as having “no legitimacy.”

Despite bipartisan recognition of the HealthCare.gov failure, Pallone accused Republicans of entering the hearing with unclean hands:

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

Cheryl Campbell, an executive for one of the health care website’s chief contractor’s CGI, was asked a question about the site’s compliance with privacy components when Pallone spoke up.

“HIPAA only applies when there’s health information being provided. That’s not in play here today. No health information is required in the application process. And why is that? Because pre-existing conditions don’t matter.”

Republican Texas Representative Joe Barton requested Pallone yield, but was denied:

“No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this thing is….There is no health information in the process. You’re asked about your address, your date of birth. You are not asked health information. So why are we going down this path? Because you are trying to scare people so they don’t apply, and so therefore the legislation gets delayed, or the Affordable Care Act gets defunded, or it’s repealed. That’s all it is, hoping people won’t apply.”

Barton potently confirmed that protecting privacy concerns of Americans is a legitimate concern for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

As far as scaring people into not applying on HealthCare.gov goes, I hardly think the Obama administration needs assistance.


Sarah Jean Seman

Sarah Jean Seman is a Townhall Web Editor. Follow Sarah Jean Seman on Twitter @sarah_jean_

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography