Republican Clown Show on Obamacare Has Already Started


Today’s hearing into the Obamacare website almost immediately descended into farce. Emma Roller provides the basics:

With a look of what can only be described as pure glee, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) pointed out a warning on healthcare.gov saying the information users enter is less private than typical medical forms.

He went on to press Campbell [an executive at CGI], trying to get her to say the website violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. “You know it’s not HIPAA compliant,” he told her. “Admit it! You’re under oath!” Campbell demurred, and [Rep. Frank] Pallone swooped in to save the day:

Pallone: I started out in my opening statements saying there was no legitimacy to this hearing, and the last line of questioning certainly confirms that. 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! So once again, here we have my Republican colleagues trying to scare everybody—

Etc.

That’s all funny enough. But the cherry on top comes from Sarah Kliff, who provides a snapshot of the HTML code that Barton is upset about:

The warning that Barton is objecting to isn’t even active code. The HTML tag in the pink oval means that everything which follows has been “commented out.” The seven lines of code above don’t show up anywhere on the actual website and are never executed in any way. It’s just boilerplate that was taken from somewhere else, and then edited.

This is what I was talking about earlier this morning when I suggested that Republicans are unlikely to hold serious hearings. This kind of thing is just embarrassingly ignorant. A few more like this, demonstrating that Republicans are flailing around looking for partisan cudgels rather than genuinely trying to investigate a procurement process gone wrong, and the press will simply lose interest. And they’ll be right to.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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