House Energy and Commerce Committee members Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, right, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., talk on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, during the committee’s hearing with contractors. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Software contractors who built the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act federal exchange system defended their work at a raucous, standing-room-only House hearing convened Thursday to allow Republicans an opportunity to cast “Obamacare” in the most negative light possible.

The hearing was held to highlight the problems faced by the federal exchange. The federal exchange is mainly designed to serve the 34 states that have refused to open their own exchanges.

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