- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 31, 2014

House lawmakers spent just as much time praising or railing against Obamacare itself as it did on HealthCare.gov’s failures — the main point of an oversight hearing Thursday morning — sparing a new employee of the Obama administration from absorbing much heat in the witness chair.

Andy Slavitt, a manager who joined the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services three weeks ago, told a panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee that things are looking up for the federal Obamacare website, security of the system and new insurance rates up for review in the states.

But Republicans said the law’s health plans are unaffordable and that the Obama administration is not implementing the law the way Congress intended.

For one thing, it delayed a rule that requires employers of 50 or more workers to provide adequate coverage or pay fines.

“My personal belief is we will never see the employer mandate,” Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas Republican, said.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, said no one can afford their co-pays because the health plans are inadequate.

“I don’t understand why my colleagues across the aisle continue to defend this thing,” Ms. Blackburn said.