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Archive for February 20th, 2009

Secret talks on health care? Where’s the promised transparency?

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Imagine a hearing room in the U.S. Senate. Imagine men and women trying to navigate the issues that surround health care in America and negotiate a solution.

Now imagine that the doors to the room are closed, and that the participants remain unidentified, and that, in fact, “Senate aides had threatened to expel anyone who divulged details of the work group,” reports The New York Times:

Since last fall, many of the leading figures in the nation’s long-running health care debate have been meeting secretly in a Senate hearing room. Now, with the blessing of the Senate’s leading proponent of universal health insurance, Edward M. Kennedy, they appear to be inching toward a consensus that could reshape the debate.

The 20 or so people in that room sitting around tables arranged in a square, says The Times, “include lobbyists for AARP, Aetna, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Business Roundtable, Easter Seals, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.”

Well, I’m not inside that room, and neither are you. And we should be, because President Obama said we would be.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

February 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized