During the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing on HealthCare.gov’s launch, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) ripped the hearing as a “monkey court” used by his Republican colleagues to bash the Affordable Care Act.
He seized on a line of questioning from Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who suggested that the private health information of Americans was at risk because of the website’s poor design.
“I started out in my opening statement saying there was no legitimacy to this hearing and the last line of the questioning certainly confirms that. HIPAA only applies when there’s health information being provided,” Pallone said. “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.”
“If the gentleman will yield…” Barton interjected.
“No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever,” Pallone barked.
“This is not monkey court,” Barton objected.
“Do whatever you want. I am not yielding,” Pallone said.
The full exchange is below.