Topics: Obamacare

Top 10 moments from Kathleen Sebelius testifying on Obamacare

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified on Capitol Hill on Wednesday about the technical problems with the Obamacare website and answered questions about Americans losing their private health plans under the law's requirements.

Here are some of the top moments from her testimony with the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

1. I'm responsible

The hearing was off to a great start once Sebelius took responsibility for the botched rollout of the Obamacare website.

"Hold me responsible for the debacle," Sebelius said, when questioned by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. "I'm responsible."

2. 'It's illegal'

As my colleague Philip Klein reported, Sebelius was mistaken as she repeatedly insisted that it would be illegal for her to sign up for the health insurance exchanges offered by Obamacare.

According to Healthcare.gov, there are only three requirements for purchasing a plan on an exchange: Buyers “must live in the United States"; “must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)"; and “can't be currently incarcerated.”

3. 'Don't do this to me'

While members of Congress were questioning Sebelius about signing up for the health insurance exchanges, she consulted with her staff after saying that it would be illegal to do so.

Turning back to the congressional committee, she muttered, "Don't do this to me," as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., repeated the question.

4. 'Whatever'

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., asked Sebelius if President Obama was ultimately responsible for the botched Obamacare website launch.

"While I think it's great that you're a team player and taking responsibility, it is the president's ultimate responsibility, correct?" Harper said.

"You clearly -- uh -- whatever," an annoyed Sebelius replied. "Yes, he is the president, he is responsible for government programs."

5. The website has never crashed?

After committee members referred to the error messages on Healthcare.gov, Sebelius claimed that the website never crashed.

"We were anxious to get the website up and running and functional, which we have clearly failed to do, to date, although I would suggest that the website never crashed. It is functional, but at a very slow speed and very low reliability, and has continued to function,” Sebelius said.

6. Keg stand

Rep. Cory Gardner displayed a poster of the "brosurance" ad being run in Colorado featuring college students doing a keg stand.

“It's a college student doing a keg stand,” he said. "Do you approve of this kind of advertising?”

Sebelius claimed that she couldn't see the poster from where she sat, and had never seen the ad before.

7. 'Oh, here we go' on abortion

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., questioned Sebelius if the Obamacare health exchange website would inform users whether abortions would be covered.

“If someone, a constituent of mine or someone in this country, has strongly-held pro-life views, can you commit to us to make sure that the federal exchanges that offer that are clearly identified so people can understand if they’re going to buy a policy that has abortion coverage or not, because right now, you cannot make that determination,” Shimkus asked.

“Sir, I don’t know,” Sebelius responded. “I know exactly the issue you’re talking about. I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable.”

A hot mic captured someone in the hearing groaning, "Oh, here we go," as Shimkus began asking the question.

8. Red Solo cup

Blackburn used the example of a Solo cup while explaining that Americans wanted more choice when shopping for insurance.

"I will remind you some people like to drive a Ford and not a Ferrari, and some drink out of a red Solo cup and not a crystal stem," she said.

9. Current health care plans like a 'car without a motor'

Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, said that some private health insurance plans are inferior like "a car without a motor."

"I know I'm out of my time, but it's like buying a car — it may look good, but if it doesn't have a motor, it's no good to have that car," Green said.

"You'd save a lot of gas but it won't get you very far," Sebelius agreed.

10. Has a man ever delivered a baby?

Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., questioned Sebelius on why a young single male would need maternity coverage on his health care plan.

"A single male, age 32, does not need maternity coverage," Ellmers said. "To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?"

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