Apr 18, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon
Politics

House Republicans No-Show At Private Obamacare Briefing They Demanded

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Anyone who doubted that Congressional Republicans have no interest in actually doing anything about problems with the rollout of Obamacare should have those doubts now dispelled. After loudly demanding their own closed-door briefing about the new health care law and finally getting one, almost all of the House Republicans skipped it.

House Democrats earlier received their own behind-the-scenes briefing about administration plans for implementing the Affordable Care Act and ironing out the bugs in the system that have become evident in the early stages — mainly in the glitchy web site Healthcare.gov, set up to allow people without insurance buy it through a health care “exchange” in which private insurance companies peddle their plans online.

Republicans were invited to their own briefing this week, at which Mike Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform inside the Department of Health and Human Services, answered questions about the program. But of the 231 Republican House members, fewer than 20 showed up.

That should come as no surprise as Republicans have a history of demanding such briefings then ignoring them. Last November, after vociferously complaining that the White House was not being forthcoming with information about the Benghazi attacks, John McCain skipped a classified briefing on the subject to hold a press conference to demand answers about Benghazi — the same answers that were being provided at the very moment he was complaining to the press.

But some House Republicans at least deserve credit for not even pretending that they have any interest in making the Affordable Care Act work.

“There is no way to fix this monstrosity,” said House Speaker John Boehner recently. “The idea that the federal government is going to supply the health insurance for every American and write all the rules defies any, any sense from my standpoint.”

Of course, under the Affordable Care Act, the government does not “supply health insurance.” The Act is a set of new laws and regulations for the insurance industry — such as rules against denying coverage to new enrollees based on pre-existing health conditions — combined with the online insurance exchanges that offer a variety of plans to currently uninsured or underinsured Americans through private companies, with subsidies available for people whose income is no greater than 400 percent of poverty level.

Sources: Politico, Yahoo News, ABC News, Washington Post, Obamacare Explained


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