All ten of you out there who regularly watch C-SPAN were treated to an interesting scene Thursday when Representative Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) snapped during an Obamacare hearing and branded it a “monkey court.”
This moment, which has been making headlines all day, occurred during an otherwise-dull House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Affordable Care Act’s federal exchange website (basically a bunch of politicians are publicly investigating what went wrong).
Anyway, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) questioned Cheryl Campbell, the senior vice president of CGI (one of the firms paid millions to build the faulty exchange website). Pallone piped up after the questioning, and blasted Barton for misrepresenting a privacy requirement of the law. It was essentially his “that’s it, I’m out” moment.
“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,” Pallone said. “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… ”
“Will the gentleman yield?” Barton quickly interrupted.
“No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this thing is,” Pallone responded.
“This is not a monkey court,” Barton clarified. “Protecting American citizens is a legitimate concern of this committee.”
“There is no health information in the process,” Pallone continued. “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so they don’t apply, and so therefore the legislation gets delayed, or the Affordable Care Act gets defunded, or it’s repealed.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.”
Check out the video below, via Mediaite: