White House declines to disclose visits by health industry executives

Citing an argument used by the Bush administration, the Secret Service rejects a request from a watchdog group to list those who have visited the White House to discuss the healthcare overhaul.

By Peter Nicholas

July 22, 2009

Reporting from Washington — Invoking an argument used by President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House to discuss the massive healthcare overhaul.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent a letter to the Secret Service asking about visits from 18 executives representing health insurers, drug makers, doctors and other players in the debate. The group wants the material in order to gauge the influence of those executives in crafting a new healthcare policy.

The Secret Service sent a reply stating that documents revealing the frequency of such visits were considered presidential records exempt from public disclosure laws. The agency also said it was advised by the Justice Department that the Secret Service was within its rights to withhold the information because of the “presidential communications privilege.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics said it would file suit against the Obama administration as early as today. The group already has sued the administration over its failure to release details about visits from coal industry executives.

A White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said, “We are reviewing our policy on access to visitor logs and related litigation.”

As a candidate, President Obama vowed that in devising a healthcare bill he would invite in TV cameras — specifically C-SPAN — so that Americans could have a window into negotiations that normally play out behind closed doors.

Having promised transparency, the administration should be willing to disclose who it is consulting in shaping healthcare policy, said an attorney for the citizens’ group. In its letter requesting the records, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics asked about visits from Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans; William Weldon, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson; and J. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Assn., among others.

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3 Responses to “LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE”

  1. delilah Says:

    Bush’s rejection of the request was to protect sensitive national security discussions regarding 911 .

    Obama’s rejection of the same request has no obvious national security link. But, in reality his agenda on healthcare, the environment, the economy and foreign policy do more to undermine our national security than anything Bush could have possibly been defending. Bush was protecting us from outside hostilities: Obama is protecting the secrecy of his agenda to create and facilitate inside hostilities.

    This is why Obama is invoking these same protections. ALL his strategies and policies are designed to take the US governance and destiny away from its citizens and put it into the hands of a few leftist elites. This is a coup. This is why we’re not allowed to know who was in that meeting, where he was born, what his school records reveal, who his friends are or what is in his Bills.

    His next autobiography will be titled: “Dreams of My Parents, Ex-Patriots and Other Leftist Patronages: How I Conquered America”

  2. PATRIOT Says:

    No I have the title for his next book. “The Audacity of the Neo-Cons: How I Saved America from the Brink of Collapse.”
    Your failed neo-con policies have us hated world wide. They have us on the brink of economic collapse and these policies have us in 2 wars we cannot win. Yet you are so beholden to your erroneous ideals that you want to repeat the failed policies of the past.
    The American people spoke loud and clear in the last election. We took back the White House and both chambers of Congress. This was a clear and concise victory with large majorities in both houses. It was a mandate from the people. To get the peoples work done. Get this country back on track. For America to once again be part of the world community. The days of “Cowboy Politics” are over.
    This President has done more to help America in his first 6 months than the Neo-cons did in the past 6 years. Yet all your kind do is complain, whine, make false accusations, lie and create crazy conspiracy theories. Neo-cons did the same thing to Clinton for 8 years. It didn’t work. It will not work with President Barack Hussein Obama for the next 8 years. Then 8 more years of President Michelle Obama.

  3. CountDown Says:

    The BIG Global Warming Lie

    1. Earth = 71% water (361M sq km); 29%land (149M sq. km)

    2. US = 16.5 % total land mass (9,629,091 sq km)

    3. US land mass developed/occupied = 5% ( 481,454 sq km)

    4. US population = 307M (4.5% of total world population)

    5. US rank by population density = 177/238

    6. US rank GDP/PPP (purchasing power parity) = 6th/192 (only the Scandinavian nations and a few small Arab principalities outrank US)

    7. US rank on foreign aid awards = 9/21 “wealthy” nations (based upon percentage of GDP awarded; US ranks 1st for total amount awarded)

    8. US rank for legal immigration = 1/192 = 38M immigrants or 20% of worlds immigration population or 12% immigrants as percentage of total national population (those same Scandinavian and Arab nations that outrank US on GDP lag way at the bottom of the immigration list)

    9. US rank for Human Development Index (HDI = standard of living as measured by life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, and GDP) = 15/33 (those same Scandinavian and Arab nations that outrank US on GDP outrank US here)

    10. US rank for GreenHouse Gas emissions = 1 (22% of total world anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic source emissions) China is 2nd, EU 3rd, Russia 4th, India 5th, Japan 6th.

    NOTE: 1.Europe (except for Ireland) on whom we model our new socialist system, fell far behind the US on all positive attributes, and either tied or excelled US on undesirable attributes.
    2.U.S. mid-level HDI ranking is DIRECTLY related to our immigration ranking of #1. The more immigrants we absorb, the lower our HDI.
    3.Many/most of the GHG emissions attributed to the US are generated by foreign-owned businesses operating in the US and for foreign aid benefits, such as feeding or supporting the world via both agricultural and industrial exports.

    So, as pertains to the first five facts: we’re too tiny and undeveloped to be contributing to any measurable global (astronomical) warming – the (astro) physics doesn’t fit the political “fairytale”.

    But, the facts that unfolds in facts 6-9 seems to be far more relevent to the leftist Global Warming scheme to oppress, invade and ultimately conquer the US.

    It is the LIE as manipulated and extrapolated in # 10 that will enable the lazy leftist world interests to first ruin and then rule the US.

    First, convince us and the rest of the world that we’re the racist, planet-raping Evil Empire (demonize your enemy). Next, develop a scheme to bring the growth of our economy (and our military power) to its knees = Global Warming initiatives; Kyoto Treaty, Cap and Trade, etc.

    Next, socialize (enslave) your political, economic and military system (eg. universal health care, national bankruptcy, diminished military). Now, you’ve got your table set for the leftists immigration invasion of the planet-raping, racist nation. This immigration invasion will be driven by the rest of the lazy leftist nations (Europe, Africa, Latin America) and economically emerging nations (China, India) off-loading of their unproductives and undesirables onto the US welfare system that America’s [declining] wealth will struggle to support. The remaining productive sectors of the US are being positioned to become the rest of the worlds “enslaved” economy. All involved scheming [United] Nations have a long history of social and political systems that have developed and/or sustained similarly oppressive systems in their own countries.

    The philosophy is age-old; a few hard-working, talented and productive entities will support the masses of the lazy, unproductive and talentless entities.

    The solution= national moratorium on BOTH immigration and foreign aid (to save both natural and economic resources) until the “vast” US GreenHouse Gases are reduced (since only people make pollution) and the US decreasing/tanking HDI is stabilized and growing (eg. to levels enjoyed by those Scandinavian nations and Arab principalities) for it’s own CITIZEN population.

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