October 30th, 2013
09:05 AM ET
11 months ago

Highlights: Sebelius on the hot seat

Washington (CNN) - They want her fired and the health care reforms she champions dismantled, Wednesday Republicans got their chance to question Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the rocky rollout of the Obamacare website, as she testified before a House Energy and Commerce Committee.

12:36 p.m. ET: The hearing ends
Hearing length: 3 hours 33 minutes.
Members of Congress who asked questions: 51.
When Sebelius apologized for the HealthCare.gov problems: a few minutes into the hearing, during her opening statement.
Number of members who referenced the Wizard of Oz: Three. (Sebelius is from Kansas.)

Most frequent topics:
– – The President’s past assertion that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and news that after 2010 some plans have been cancelled.
– – Whether the individual mandate should be delayed given the website problems and the delay in the employer mandate.
– – Who is to blame for: a) the lack of adequate testing (Answer: no one specific was named), b) the decision to make individuals register before they could browse plans (Answer: Michelle Snyder of CMS) c) the decision to launch the website when it wasn’t ready (Answer: Sebelius said she told the president the site was ready, based on staff guidance. She stressed that no one predicted the avalanche of problems that happened)

12:35 p.m. ET
After a sharp exchange with a Republican Congressman, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday she would "gladly join" the new health insurance exchange under Obamacare if she didn't have affordable coverage under the federal program for government officials.

12:32 p.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday the decision to require people to sign up on the Obamacare website before they could shop for rates was "wrong." Outside contractors have said a change in plans shortly before the botched October 1 launch of the website prevented people from "window-shopping" without signing up, increasing the initial volume that officials cite as the main cause of the online problems. Sebelius said the decision to make the change came from Marilyn Tavenner, who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in her department.

12:31 p.m. ET

To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever given birth to a baby? As the hearing moved toward its end, Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-North Carolina, asked Secretary Sebelius that question, aiming to highlight that some men may be forced to buy maternity coverage as part of an insurance package under Obamacare. Sebelius responded that some men do need maternity coverage for their spouse and family, who could be covered under their policy. Ellmers insisted this is an example of why health care costs are going up, insurance coverage that may not be necessary for everyone.

12:18 p.m. ET
By the way: While Sebelius was still getting grilled at the hearing, Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the legendary band “The Who,” was performing at an unveiling of a Winston Churchill bust in the Capitol Rotunda singing “Stand by Me” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

12:04 p.m. ET
A member of Congress has sparked some applause. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, blasted HHS Secretary Sebelius for not getting her own health care through the exchanges set up by Obamacare. Sebelius explained that by law she receives the Federal Health Employee Benefits plan, which includes most federal workers. Gardner held up a letter that he said was a cancellation notice for his family's police and as he continued to ask Sebelius why she herself wasn't in the exchange, some scattered but noticeable claps came from the crowded hearing room.

12:03 p.m.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that she told President Barack Obama the website for his signature health care reforms was "ready to go" for its October 1 launch, adding: "Clearly, I was wrong. We were wrong."

11:57 a.m. ET
An internal government memo obtained by CNN and written just days before the Obamacare open enrollment warned of a "high" security risk due to a lack of testing of the healthcare.gov website. "Due to system readiness issues, the (Security Control Assessment) SCA was only partly completed," according to the memo from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "This constitutes a risk that must be accepted and mitigated to support the Marketplace Day 1 operations."

11:56 a.m. ET
Rep. John Barrow, D-Georgia, is highly critical of and has repeatedly voted to limit Obamacare. He's a Blue Dog Democrat.

11:43 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged members of Congress on Wednesday to help inform their constituents about Obamacare, calling on them to raise awareness of available federal subsidies and make clear that people don't have to stay with the same company because they now have choice.

11:37 a.m. ET
Bad luck for the junior Congressmen on the committee. In an attempt to end the hearing on time, Committee Chair Fred Upton just announced that members will be now limited to two minutes of questioning each.

11:31 a.m. ET
A question about President Barack Obama sparked a seeming verbal exasperation from Secretary Sebelius. Rep. Greg Harper, R-Mississippi, repeatedly asked if Obama, as the chief executive, is responsible for the problems with HealthCare.gov. Sebelius demurred, insisting the website rollout was her responsibility. But on one final try, Harper stipulated, "it is the President's ultimate responsibility, is it not." She searched for words, saying, "you clearly ..." then added a rare "whatever." She concluded, "He is the President of the United States."

11:26 a.m. ET
Time check. A spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee tells CNN that about 15 more members are waiting to ask questions of Secretary Sebelius. At five minutes each, that would take well over an hour. The spokesman says initially the Secretary had asked to leave by noon, but the committee may ask her to stay longer.

11:19 a.m. ET
Who's the man with the mustache and red tie behind Sebelius? That's Mike Hash, who leads the HHS office of Health Reform. He is a key coordinator of policy between the White House and HHS and is a go-to briefer when Congress wants Obamacare answers. Off camera, Hash has passed a few notes to Sebelius during the hearing. He also has a resume line that may be a bonus today: he used to work as a staff member for this committee.
Mike Hash, head of HHS Health Reform office

11:03 a.m. ET

House Speaker John Boehner's office just sent out an e-mail questioning and making hay out of Sebelius' comment (at about 10:05 a ET) that "the website has never crashed". The e-mail includes a screen shot of the HealthCare.gov error message this morning.

11:00 a.m. ET
Because of the flawed launch of the Obamacare website, the administration expects the figure for initial enrollment "will be a very small number," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee hearing Wednesday.

10:55 a.m. ET
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, just mentioned a CNN.com story about the HealthCare.gov website being vulnerable to hackers. Since we are CNN.com, here's a handy link.

10:47 a.m. ET
About an hour and a half into the hearing, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, became the 20th committee member, out of a possible 54 members who can participate, to ask questions of Sebelius.

10:46 a.m. ET
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee accused Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of putting private information of Americans at risk by failing to properly test security measures in the troubled Obamacare website."This is a completely unacceptable level of security," said Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, adding that if the website is not functioning, "you know it's not secure." Sebelius said testing occurs regularly, but told Rogers she would get back to him on whether any end-to-end security test of the entire system has ever occurred. Rogers responded that he knows there have been no such comprehensive security tests.

10:37 a.m. ET
States running their own Obamacare health insurance exchanges instead of turning them over to the federal government are "doing well," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a congressional committee Wednesday."Everything we hear is that they see the same demand, they are eager to enroll folks, and that is going smoothly."

10:29 a.m. ET

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that no "reliable, confirmed" information exists on how many people have signed up for Obamacare health coverage, rejecting a request from a Republican congressman that she allow insurance companies to release their figures. Sebelius reiterated earlier statements that figures on initial enrollment will be made public in mid-November.

10:26 a.m. ET
The outside contractors that built the troubled Obamacare website never recommended delaying the October 1 launch, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee Wednesday. Her comments came in response to questions about an August report by one of the companies that cited problems.

10:21 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee Wednesday that "we did not adequately do end-to-end testing" of the troubled Obamacare website before its botched launch on October 1, adding that the various components "were not locked and loaded into the system" until mid-September.

10:10 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that contracts with the private companies working on the Obamacare website do not have any "built-in penalties" allowing her department to charge them for disappointing or faulty work. However, she said the agency will not pay for work that is incomplete.

10:09 a.m. ET
The exchange a few minutes ago between Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pennsylvania and Secretary Sebelius hit on perhaps the widest number of issues with HealthCare.gov yet. In his five-minute questioning period, Pitts asked:

- Had Sebelius herself tried to signup on HealthCare.gov herself? Answer: she had an initial sort of dummy account. (It was not clear from her answer if she had tried to go through the process after the website was launched.)

- Who at the agency initially decided to require users to register before they could browse, a decision that may have caused some of the biggest problems in the first weeks? Answer: Marilyn Tavener, head of the Medicare & Medicaid Services.

- Did Sebelius think two weeks of testing before launching the site was enough? Answer: clearly not.

- When was Sebelius made aware of the problem? Answer: in August, contractor CGI Federal listed some problems and she understood they were fixing them.

- Did she know that in September some insurers recommended a delay? Answer: I wasn't in that meeting and I don't think anyone estimated the degree to which we have had problems.

10:06 a.m. ET
In a sharp exchange with a Republican congressman, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday she believed she could provide legislators with a list of insurers in federal exchanges set up under Obamacare that do not offer coverage for abortion services.

9:56 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday she was confident the troubled Obamacare website would be running smoothly by November 30, adding "I have confidence, but it isn't fair to ask the American public to take our word for it."

9:51 a.m. ET
At 90 years old, Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, questioning Sebelius now, is the oldest member of Congress and was a teenager when Social Security was created. He has adamantly opposed Obamacare.

9:45 a.m. ET
A waiver of privacy rights on the Obamacare website was included in error and "will be taken down," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday, telling GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas that "we have asked them to remove that statement."

5 things we learned from Tuesday's hearing with Tavenner

9:44 a.m. ET
HHS Secretary Sebelius just said that someone named Michelle Snyder was responsible for coordinating HealthCare.gov prior to this week (when contractor CGI Federal took over). Who is that? Snyder is the top day-to-day manager for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Here's her bio.

Snyder's boss did not directly defend her but when Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, asked, "So is Michelle Snyder responsible for this debacle?", Sebelius responded "no". That's when the HHS secretary said that Congress should hold her (Sebelius) responsible.

9:35 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday before a congressional committee that Republicans should "hold me responsible" for the problem-plagued Obamacare website.

9:33 a.m. ET
So far, the Sebelius hearing is going according to a classic Congressional script. The chairman from the opposing party opens with a question about one of the hottest issues, in this case Chairman Fred Upton, R-Michigan, asked about the fact that some Americans will not be able to keep their health care plans. Then the ranking member from the president's party, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, asks friendly questions to defend their position. Now, we watch to see if there will be any news, anything goes off script. Will Republican questions elicit any new information and will any Democrats become especially critical of the HealthCare.gov roll-out.

Three states tell insurers to cancel plans that don't comply with Obamacare

9:32 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that people who bought their own health coverage before Obamacare was signed into law in 2010 can keep those policies if they choose under a "grandfather" clause included in the legislation. Her response to a question about people getting their policies canceled now defended promises by President Barack Obama that anyone who likes their health care plan can keep it, relying on the technicality that the coverage must pre-date the law. Asked if Obama was keeping his promise, Sebelius responded: "Yes, he is."


9:20 a.m. ET

What did the HHS Secretary just say? Here's a link to the eight pages of written testimony she submitted earlier this week.
Her spoken words to the committee were a shorter version.

Administration warned about site's trouble before launch

9:19 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee Wednesday that the "vast majority" of consumers will be able to shop online for health insurance under Obamacare by the end of November without the problems being experienced now.

9:17 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized Wednesday to Americans for the "miserably frustrating experience" caused by problems with the Obamacare website.

9:15 a.m. ET
As Sebelius starts her testimony, HealthCare.gov is not working. The familiar error screen, "The system is down at the moment" appears.

9:13 a.m. ET
The top Democrat on a House committee examining Obamacare told a hearing Wednesday that the President's signature health care reforms mean that "the worst abuses of the insurance industry will be halted." Rep. Henry Waxman of California said the reforms mean better plans are available at lower premiums, and he urged Republican colleagues to "stop hyperventilating" about problems with the system's website.

Keep your plan? Maybe not

9:12 a.m. ET
Sebelius is taking the oath before the House Energy & Commerce Committee as many are watching to see if the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee will issue a subpoena for documents related to HealthCare.gov.

9:08 a.m. ET
Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan opened Wednesday's hearing on Obamacare by the House Energy and Commerce Committee he chairs by saying news about the President's signature health care reforms "seems to get worse by the day," adding that "Americans are scared" and "may be losing their faith in the government."

9:04 a.m. ET
A congressional committee hearing Wednesday with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius facing questions about Obamacare has started.


Filed under: Congress • Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • Obamacare
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Peach

    When are you people who voted for Obama going to get fed up? He LIED-- "if you like your current insurance, you can keep it"........ lies upon lies upon lies. The man is incompetent so is Sebillius and Holder, but look who appointed them. You cannot expect good things to come from BAD leadership.

    October 30, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Sharing Rob's earlier post (because I like it that much)!
    Funny, after the democrats refuse to negotiate, and cause a shut down of Government, they then turn around and vote for a delay in the individual mandate; which was EXACTLY WHAT THE REPUBLICANS WERE ASKING FOR.
    So I ask you now who were the Terrorists, Extortionists, and hostage takers? The Democrats.
    And isn't it amazing the lies that are coming out about Obama and his clan?

    They knew 11-14 million americans would be dropped from their private health insurance. They knew the website was bad. How about this one.... Michelles room mate in college is a Senior VP for the company who made 600 million dollars from this screwed up web site.

    Of course I would never think that a liberal would listen to the truth. In the world of a Liberal it is all butterflies, and rainbows. But then there is the real world, and you can't escape from it.

    October 30, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. rs

    Meanwhile, THIS JUST IN: The GOP still has no alternative to the ACA, or any proposals to fix what they (only) perceive to be faults in the law. Film at 11.....

    October 30, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. Robert Lemasters

    The important root causes of all of our economic problems including health care are: unfunded war debt, off-shored industries and millions of jobs, Wall Street looting of the economy, the Sub-prime Mortgages Conspiracy, unenforced laws including immigration, unfunded mandates, unfair trade treaties such as NFTA and globalism, welfare and military contracting fraud, inflation, off-shore tax avoidance, the election of career politicians, Social Security disability fraud, illegal immigration costs....

    October 30, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Hey CNN, why don't you START asking questions of the GOP idiot party of how and why they lost 24 billion dallars in 16 days and who is going to be held responsible in the GOP for their fiasco besides Cruz and lee, instead of your stupid arrivals on the obamacare rollout that everybody is sick of hearing about and will fix itself?????

    October 30, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Maybe you missed Obama himself on a national State of the Union broadcast referring the PPACA as Obamacare. If Obama refers to it as Obamacare
    -------------------------------------------------
    Not sure if he first embraced the term Obamacare in a State of the Union, but the term was first coined by the Republicans to deride the ACA.
    The President turned the tables on them when he embraced the name Obamacare by saying " And I don't mind them calling it Obamacare because I do".
    He turned a negative into a positive.

    October 30, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    If your employer actually changed your health care policies because of the ACA, then please sit down and thank the law for getting rid of your previous substandard policies.

    October 30, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    "Too many employers did nothing to prepare themselves to implement the ACA. Some put too much faith in Republicans repealing the law, or overturning it. Others were unable to prepare because the government wasn't doing an adequate share of its' work to get prepared by working with the companies due to obstructions in the Congress."
    -------
    Since when does the private sector's tardiness to prepare and react to enacted legislation caused said legislation to be modified or delayed? NEVER. EVER. That's the tail wagging the dog and you damn well know it. The employer mandate was delayed for one reason and one reason ONLY – and that's the political backlash this administration would (and currently IS) getting and primarily the effects that backlash is going to have on mid-term elections. Keep polishing that sneaker, Rudy. Nobody's buying it.

    October 30, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. scrappyone

    @Data Driven

    Be sure to watch long enough where she avoided Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, question as to why she hasn't signed up for this ACA through the website. Cory was the only one so far to call out anyone in congress as to why they aren't on it. He had insurance like all the rest of the americans and wasn't using the governments. He lost his families coverage due to Obamacare. Argue if you will but I am watching it live, facts are facts. My advice to you is, don't be on here arguing if you aren't watching it live and have the details. Nuff said. Scrappyone out.

    October 30, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. William

    The problem is, most Americans will NOT get quality affordable insurance there. The rates for healthy people are going sky high for poorer quality insurance with higher deductibles and less coverage where it is really needed. The only people benefiting from this are the people with extremely low income who's states have expanded medicare, and those people with pre existing conditions who have been unable to get insurance. I sympathize with those people, but it is totally unfair and Un American to force the rest of us to pay for their insurance through super high priced policies that we are forced to buy whether we want them or not. Obama has been lying since day one when he said we could keep our existing insurance and doctors. He should be impeached from office, and the so called affordable care act be either totally reworked to eliminate the individual mandate, or done away with entirely.

    October 30, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Stating the Obvious

    If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It
    The AP has just reported that they are in possession of an internal government memo as of September 27 of this year that said insufficient testing "exposed a level of uncertainty that can be deemed as high risk" for President Barack Obama's new health insurance website.
    --–

    It is very very clear that these incompetent clowns blasted forward with this fiasco for political reasons. If they delayed it, then they would have been doing exactly what the Republicans were asking for and they simply would not allow that to happen, even if it was the right thing to do. Your privacy meant nothing to them. Your time and frustration meant nothing to them.

    Of course, then there was all this congressional testimony that turned out to be lies. Testimony that the whole thing was right on track and doing well. They knew those statements were lies. Lies is all we have come to expect out of the Obama administration. Obama and the Democrats are causing serious credibility damage to the massive federal government they cherish so much. They are proving the Republicans point that it is just too big and inept, riddled with hundreds of billions of dollars in waste fraud and abuse.

    October 30, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Larry in Houston

    """Virginia is going Blue"""

    Answer: Too bad it's not that close here.... "ol Wendy will have a very difficult time, because she's surrounded by alligators in the capitol of Austin, not to mention the legislature....

    I can't wait till all of these local & state races are over with, by the 2nd week of November.....We've got our Mayor going for her 2nd term, and I think she's ahead by a large margin. Good for her.

    October 30, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    If your employer actually changed your health care policies because of the ACA, then please sit down and thank the law for getting rid of your previous substandard policies.
    --------–
    Substandard in WHOSE eyes? The government's? HOW does the government decide a one-size-fits-all package of benefits? What if I was independently wealthy and could afford to be on my own with respect to healthcare and didn't need insurance whatsoever? WHY would I need to buy a product I had absolutely no need for or be forced to pay a penalty? What's the next product the government is going to dictate "standards" to me?

    October 30, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Data Driven

    @Sniffit,

    Not sure if Fair will, but I did take a quick peek at the Chanay summary on wiki. If I understand this correctly, the Supremes ruled that enforcement by agencies was unreviewable because such actions are committed to agency discretion by law. Yes? And this means we can put the "illegal" talking point to bed. Yes?

    October 30, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. tom l

    @GOP
    "You are getting your "subsidy" your are just too dense to realize it. The portion of your health care costs that the company pays is considered income, however, because they are paying it and NOT you, your are NOT paying taxes on that portion of your income."

    Interesting, I had no idea the US Taxpayer was subsidizing my benefits from my employer. Do you not realize that there is a difference between my employer contributing to pay for part of my plan as opposed to the government (actually, the taxpayer, since you don't seem to understand that they are one in the same). Who's the dense guy now? Would you like to apologize, tough guy?

    October 30, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Stating the Obvious

    Tony
    People,
    Obamacare did not cancel your insurance plan; your insurance company did.
    --

    The standard big lie from the liberals and Democrats. Obamacare essentially made all of these healthcare plans ILLEGAL. The companies could continue to sell them but they would not meet the requirements in the Obamacare law. People buying them would be in violation of the law and subject to fines and penalities.

    Why do you lefties continue to blatantly LIE about Obamacare and the disaster IT HAS CREATED?!!

    October 30, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. thinking outside the box

    Tweet from Newt Gingrich,

    Sebelius dishonesty in testimony this morning exceeds anything president Nixon was accused of. The Obama team cant tell truth and survive
    _________________________________

    This really gets at the heart of one of the goals of the Republicans, even those that are no longer politicians and have become pundits. A key goal of theirs is to get rid of the scandal of Richard Nixon and replace it with a scandal tagged to the Democrats so that in the foreseeable future they can say "Well at least we weren't the party that brought you the 'fill in the blank' scandal! That was the Democrats!".

    October 30, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. A True Conservative

    The site has never "crashed"? Is she that far out of touch? She can't possibly be – she is simply a liar. Good Lord people – can you Obama apologists please wake up? Can't you see what your votes and your support are doing to this nation? I mean, come on, you can't possibly be that blind! Or is this realy about something else? Is it really about what you can get for "free" from the governmen with your votes?

    October 30, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. tom l

    "The real comparison: The federal gov't contributes approximately 72%-75% to its employees' health insurance. In the private sector, it averages 82% contribution from employers."

    The conflating is by you. You are equating what a PRIVATE company contributes with the 75% "subsidy" that is footed by the American taxpayer. Please don't be so deliberately intellectually dishonest to say they are the same. One is paid by my employer and the other is paid by the governtment (and the government gets its money from the US taxpayer.) Not. the. same. thing. at. all.

    But hey, now I can get pregnant and it will be covered! Cool.

    October 30, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Cory Gardner gets the same insurance that Sebelius gets. Kind of stupid on his part to not know that.

    October 30, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Data Driven

    @scrappyone,

    "He had insurance like all the rest of the americans"

    Sigh. Look, I'll watch it tonight without your erroneous filter. "Out."

    October 30, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    My daddy used to tell me, son, when you are in quicksand, stop kicking and fighting it, or you are sure to go down. It seems the GOP never got the message.

    October 30, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. just asking

    Rudy NYC
    If your employer actually changed your health care policies because of the ACA, then please sit down and thank the law for getting rid of your previous substandard policies.
    --

    substandard based on whose judgement? those people had healthcare they liked and could afford. they made that personal decision. if they didn't like it, they could have made a personal decision to buy something else. obamacare has removed that freedom and personal decision. obama and the democrats have now decided what constitutes an adequate healthcare plan and the subsequent high cost of it. even if the person doesn't need or want maturnity care and addiction coverage, thus must still pay for it in order to subsidize others coverage.

    welcome to the leftist democrat world of controlling every aspect of your life, even how you must spend your own money. you are just too darn stupid and must be protected from yourself. they are far more knowledgeable about your personal healthcare needs and how you should spend you money.

    October 30, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. t

    Is Obama going to blame Bush for this also?

    October 30, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. MOG

    To me and many people of color, the term "Obamacare" is akin to the use of the "N" word. GOP is out of touch!!!!!!! Maybe the GOP will ask George Wallace to testify to prove their point. Now we will get the truth at last.

    October 30, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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