The House's top investigator on Friday kicked off series of field hearings on Obamacare's troubled rollout, stopping by North Carolina for a session on premium costs before heading to Georgia, Texas and Arizona.
Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has pitched the series as a chance to hear directly from Americans about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting them. To date, the rollout has been marred by glitches on the Obamacare market's federal website and political fights over cancelled plans that do not meet the law's coverage requirements.
But committee Democrats are not impressed by Mr. Issa's road show. They also said people who wanted to testify in support of President Obama's law were tossed aside, although a spokeswoman for committee Republicans said Democrats never actually requested any witnesses.
Footage from outside the event in Gastonia, N.C., showed a modest number of protesters holding up signs and chanting, "Health care for everyone."
Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat, said Friday that "House Republicans have made clear that they have no interest in improving the Healthcare.gov website."
"Rather than engaging in a destructive political exercise with the ultimate goal of tearing down the Affordable Care Act, promoting misinformation, and eliminating health insurance for tens of millions of people, the Committee should support constructive efforts to help educate and assist families who urgently need medical care and now have a chance to obtain it," he said.
To drive home his point, he released a list with the names of dozens of Democrats who have held information sessions in their districts to help constituents understand their options under Obamacare.
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