New Jersey’s Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. reached his breaking point with the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, refusing to back down from a line of questioning and calling the newest round of Congressional hearings into the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — a “monkey court.”
According to Mediaite, Pallone erupted after the questioning of Cheryl Campbell of CGI, Inc. — the government contracting firm tasked with designing the Obamacare website.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) had just inaccurately stated a requirement for enrollment under the ACA.
When called upon, Pallone said, “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.”
He continued, “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?” asked Barton.
“No, I will not yield to this monkey court of whatever this thing is,” said Pallone.
“This is not a monkey court,” Barton protested. “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so they don’t apply, and so therefore the legislation gets delayed, or the Affordable Care Act gets defunded, or it’s repealed.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.”
Watch the video, embedded below via Think Progress: