Republicans struggled to land punches against ObamaCare in a hearing Wednesday, as responses from insurance companies deflated several lines of questioning.
Democratic lawmakers were emboldened to defend the Affordable Care Act with renewed vigor and levity, creating a dynamic rarely seen in the debate over ObamaCare.
Adding to the irregularity, exits on the Republican side at a subcommittee hearing led by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) allowed multiple Democrats to speak in a row and let heavy Democratic criticism of Republicans go unanswered, a contrast with the heated exchanges of last fall.
The discussion was not always favorable to the healthcare law, as it touched on health plan cancellations, the potential for premium increases in 2015 and problems that still plague the back end of HealthCare.gov.
Witnesses from the insurance industry were also careful in their comments and promised to submit several answers to the committee at a later date.
But Republicans were visibly exasperated, as insurers failed to confirm certain claims about ObamaCare, such as the committee’s allegation that one-third of federal exchange enrollees have not paid their first premium.
And none of the witnesses knew a thing about Benghazi.