Here is a report of how it is going so far at the Sebelius hearing
Sebelius had a sharp exchange with Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), who asked if it was true that under the Affordable Care Act, men would have to buy maternity coverage?
“This is why premiums are going up, because we are forcing people to buy coverage they will never need,” Ellmers said.
Sebelius responded that insurance policies cover many things people may never need, and that many of these men may need such coverage for their spouses.
“To your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?” Ellmers asked before the chairman cut her off because she had run out of time.
In an indication that the hearing may go on for a while longer, Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told Sebelius that he was going to try to get her out of there by 12:30 p.m. Chuckles arose from the room.
“Is that a joke?” Sebelius said.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) told Sebelius that he and his family buy their health insurance on the private market, and like other people in his boat, got a notice saying his plan was being discontinued this year. He said he chose to reject his congressional insurance to be more like people in his district.
“Why aren’t you losing your insurance?” he demanded of Sebelius. “Why won’t you go into this exchange?”
Sebelius responded that she is not eligible, because people who get affordable coverage through their employer may not apply through the marketplace.
“I would urge you to be like the American people,” he said, before asking for a waiver from the health-care law for his Colorado district.
Gardner also referenced this ad from Colorado.
Several members of the Energy and Commerce Committee compared the launch of Obamacare to the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz.”
“There is a famous movie called the ‘Wizard of Oz,’ and in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ there is a great line,” said Rep. Joe Barton, (R-Tex.). “Dorothy at some point in the movie turns to her little dog Toto and says, ‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.’”
“Well, Madam Secretary, while you’re from Kansas, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Some might say that we are actually in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ land given the parallel universes we appear to be habitating.”
Sebelius did not seem amused by the Kansas reference.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Rep. Greg Harper (R-Miss.) also made references to the “Wizard of Oz.”
Pompeo said that when the characters in the “Wizard” got to the end of the yellow brick road, “at the end of the day, and they pulled back the curtain,” what they found wasn’t any different than something they already had.
(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that President Obama is not responsible for the botched rollout of his signature health care law.
“No, sir,” Sebelius said when asked directly whether Obama is responsible at a House hearing.
Instead, Sebelius pointed to the department she leads, HHS.
“We are responsible for the rollout,” she said.