Obama’s refusal to provide records on healthcare meetings should sound alarms

posted at 8:48 am on March 14, 2011 by SueZeeQ

The obvious question is why?  Why would the Obama administration who boasted open and transparent discussions of such a sensitive subject as healthcare close the door to the opportunity to present its factual case to the American people?  Messaging anyone?  Nope.

Complying with the records request from the House Energy and Commerce Committee “would constitute a vast and expensive undertaking” and could “implicate longstanding executive branch confidentiality interests,” White House lawyer Robert Bauer wrote the committee. Translation: Nice try.

Before the Democrats rammed through the Obamacare bill (and don’t think for one little ol’ minute that our narcissistic President doesn’t love that branding), Obama and WH officials met with several high-profile insurance executives as the WaPo lists:

The list included George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Health Plans; Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Kenneth Kies, a Washington lobbyist representing Blue Cross/Blue Shield, among other clients; Billy Tauzin, then head of PhRMA, the drug industry lobby; Richard Umbdenstock, chief of the American Hospital Association; and numerous others.

The most concerning is George Halvorson as he was the only executive to meet with Obama.  And here is why:

“There really are two Americas when it comes to health care — the fully insured, primarily white America and the disproportionately uninsured minority America,” Halvorson wrote. “More than half of the total uninsured people in this country are minority. That fact alone should make the need to cover everyone in America a pure ethical imperative. This issue is not about economics — it is about equality. Universal coverage should be the next major civil rights issue for this country to face.

Halvorson also wrote an article in 2007 equating health reform to the “unfinished business of the Civil Rights agenda.” Halvorson discusses the disparities between the races and health care coverage and states:

If we considered no other issue than racial and ethnic disparities, this nation’s leadership — like the leadership of a number of states — should be moving this country down the path to an American form of universal coverage as quickly as possible. There is no more vital or meaningful way for us to honor and extend the great legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Again, Halvorson was also the only insurance executive to meet with Obama at that time.  Why?  Is it because Obama wants a single-payer system and sees himself as finishing the Civil Rights Movement, and Halvorson has the same viewpoint and the most to gain via Kaiser Permanente?  But, hey, there’s nothing to see here, right?  Or, is it that those meetings were, as Halvorson stated:

“The real discussion this time, behind those closed doors, is about changing the way care is delivered. Not about the cost.”

Now, that is confusing.  According to former WH Budget Director, Peter Orszag, I thought that we were on an unsustainable path, so how could costs not come up in these meetings?  So, if we now know that those meetings were about how our healthcare is to be delivered, wouldn’t that be cause enough for alarm?  Some questions that pop into my mind are: how are those changes going to be implemented, what type of practitioner has direct access to patients, who has the ability to refer to specialists, who orders advanced tests/images, who makes the medical decisions, what protocols are being set/followed and who sets them, and do patients have access to all available treatment options.

Additionally, the Washington Times article cites that the Clinton and Bush administrations thwarted such calls:

President George W. Bush’s administration beat back efforts to reveal the dealings between Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force and industry. President Bill Clinton’s administration successfully resisted demands for records of its failed push to remake the health care system, which was overseen by then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, unlike the previous scenarios, this is now the law of the land, American taxpayers will be footing the entire bill, and will potentially ultimately have their healthcare decisions placed in the government’s control.  Doesn’t that give us the right to that information trumping the “implicate longstanding executive branch confidentiality interests” excuse.  And since when does this administration give a hoot about costs, nullifying the argument that the compliance with the records request “would constitute a vast and expensive undertaking.”

To quote NRO’s Jim Geraghty, did the Obama administration just administer the Cee-Lo Green option on Americans?

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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could “implicate longstanding executive branch confidentiality interests

Hiliary should fill them in on how this “longstanding executive branch” thing is BS

J_Crater on March 14, 2011 at 8:56 AM

What, the ObamaCare hearings weren’t all broadcast on C-SPAN? I’m shocked, shocked!

itsnotaboutme on March 14, 2011 at 8:57 AM

The records are transparent–they are there you just can’t see them!

cartooner on March 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Anything that looks like this should just be sent now.
I suggest this be brought before federal Judge Royce Lamberth, who is quite familiar with all the legal precedents.

J_Crater on March 14, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Just more delay and deception, transparent my butt.

tim c on March 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Of course, there’s no need for a healthcare Czar when we’ve got Obama structuring the closed door policy. There’s nothing to hide here, right?

Rovin on March 14, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Most transparently unethical administration ever.

rbj on March 14, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Impeach, now.

fossten on March 14, 2011 at 9:08 AM

All part of the plan folks.
Just relaaaax.
Our masters truly know what’s best for us.
Mediocre healthcare for all!

Badger40 on March 14, 2011 at 9:08 AM

It’s the final product that matters, because that’s the law we end up having to obey. Apart from examining the motives for things, it really doesn’t matter who he met with. What’s on the paper is what’s on the paper. Same thing I said about Cheney’s meetings. It’s nice to know everybody’s motives, but the important stuff will be there on paper when it becomes legislation, or an executive order. Can’t hide that.

RBMN on March 14, 2011 at 9:10 AM

This has to be be the most racist article I have ever read.

Bishop on March 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Meh. This is just scum on the surface of the cesspool. There’s no hope of seeing the stuff on the bottom, like whether Soros profited from Geithner’s “gaffe” that we’d support a world currency.

Dusty on March 14, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Crony capitalism doesn’t want you to know what deals are being made by the top dog.

Next time, maybe we should ask more questions, like are you an American and do you hold US citizenship for a start. I remember the media was quick to ask McCain, but skip over the other guy.

So now we know … What elected people of no character can do to you.

tarpon on March 14, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Can we please stop posting Kaiser Family polls on Obamacare now without at least noting that they have a massive conflicts of interest and are not “non-partisan” observers.

forest on March 14, 2011 at 9:16 AM

and don’t think for one little ol’ minute that our narcissistic President doesn’t love that branding

Back during the Great Depression, turning your pants pocket inside out, to show that it was empty, was known as the “Hoover flag.” Branding ain’t always cool.

ss396 on March 14, 2011 at 9:17 AM

The list included George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Health Plans;

I owe AnninCA an apology… Obamacare was supposed to be just like her Kaiser plan.

myrenovations on March 14, 2011 at 9:18 AM

The gaol must be to remove him from office so that he and his band of crooks can be investigated and prosecuted.

rplat on March 14, 2011 at 9:18 AM

The govt and insurance people did come to some agreement and plan during those meetings. My mother has her insurance through CSX Railroad. For years she had the same plan and company. This year it changed to a health reimbursement account and 4 new insurance companies to choose from. Also the prescription plan had 2 choices. Humana Walmart or AARP. These guys think they have made a deal with the devil and will come out of it with their pockets lined. Guess they didn’t read the bill either.

Kissmygrits on March 14, 2011 at 9:19 AM

“The real discussion this time, behind those closed doors, is about changing the way care is delivered. Not about the cost.”

This is all about reparations and payback for “wrongs” done to “their” people. MLK turns in his grave.

conservative pilgrim on March 14, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Open and transparent…What????

SPGuy on March 14, 2011 at 9:26 AM

“We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It!”

Show me the Care Fax

Roy Rogers on March 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM

This has to be be the most racist article I have ever read.

Bishop on March 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM

At least it’s subterranean racism.

trubble on March 14, 2011 at 9:28 AM

And his refusal to provide records of his birth and his grades should sound alarms, too. Just sayin’.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on March 14, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Halliburton!!!!!

rogersnowden on March 14, 2011 at 9:31 AM

This has to be be the most racist article I have ever read.

Bishop on March 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Bishop, the words you find “racist” are direct quotes from George Halvorson. It’s not surprising that he was the only exec to meet with Obama as he shares these views with Obama–and even he sees healthcare linked to Civil Rights. There were/are other African-American leaders who see it that way as well. It is not racist to point it out.

It is, however, cause to be alarmed at why they are not releasing the meeting records–wouldn’t you like to know what happened behind those closed doors? Or do you trust the government when it comes to your healthcare even though they are withholding informaton from the public?

SusanAnne Hiller on March 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Cee-Lo Green?

Susananne (nice name): You should write to be understood. WTH is Cee-Lo Green?

Akzed on March 14, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Kaiser to receive a waiver in 5…4…3…2…

Winebabe on March 14, 2011 at 9:39 AM

SusanAnne Hiller on March 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Bishop forgot his sarc tag. Pretty sure he was joking, which he does a lot. :-)

conservative pilgrim on March 14, 2011 at 9:41 AM

conservative pilgrim on March 14, 2011 at 9:41 AM

I was thinking that too, but thought I’d make sure that we keep things in context here for those who would go down that road. :)

SusanAnne Hiller on March 14, 2011 at 9:44 AM

It’s the same with the birth certificate. and bonafides,,,hide, hide, everything…secrets…

tinkerthinker on March 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM

I hate to break it to you, but anyone who didn’t hear the alarms about Obama’s opacity three years ago is stone deaf.

logis on March 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM

The list included George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Health Plans; Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Kenneth Kies, a Washington lobbyist representing Blue Cross/Blue Shield, among other clients; Billy Tauzin, then head of PhRMA, the drug industry lobby; Richard Umbdenstock, chief of the American Hospital Association; and numerous others.

Shouldn’t they all be issued with subpoenas and required testify in front of a House committee under oath?

It would be fun to hear George Halvorson plead the Fifth amendment in relation to conversations with Obama, would it not?

Jack Bauer on March 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM

It would be fun to hear George Halvorson plead the Fifth amendment in relation to conversations with Obama, would it not?

Jack Bauer on March 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Deja Vu

Roy Rogers on March 14, 2011 at 10:07 AM

I’m all for everyone getting insurance in some form or another. But not completely on the backs of others. That’s just more redistribution.

And who the he!! is Halvorsen to act as moral compass to the rest of us? Wasn’t it a liberal doctor who catered to wealthy white women seeking abortions, giving them the clean, well cared for rooms at his clinic, while black women were treated worse than a dog, dying, mutilated, and tossed out of their unsanitary conditions, despite obvious problems from the procedure? And what about all these black babies being murdered out of their mothers wombs? Huh? Kirsten Powers writes a report, then recants, but still said…Planned Parenthood was about population control.

If we put all of this together, the future is indeed bleak. We need this law repealed. End of story.

Liberals have no moral worth, credibility, or ethics to stand on, to act as judge and executioner of who lives, and who dies.

capejasmine on March 14, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Is it because Obama wants a single-payer system and sees himself as finishing the Civil Rights Movement, and Halvorson has the same viewpoint and the most to gain via Kaiser Permanente?

When I started my present job in 1996, employees were offered a choice of three health-care plans, including Kaiser Permanente, which had the MOST expensive premiums and the LEAST choice of participating doctors of the three plans offered, and NOT ONE of our employees chose Kaiser.

So if Halvorson can’t sell his elitist overpriced insurance on the open market, he’ll build his monopoly by using the President of the United States to jam it down our throats!!!

Steve Z on March 14, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Cee-Lo Green?

Susananne (nice name): You should write to be understood. WTH is Cee-Lo Green?

Akzed on March 14, 2011 at 9:38 AM

This.

hillbillyjim on March 14, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Cee-Lo Green?

Susananne (nice name): You should write to be understood. WTH is Cee-Lo Green?

Akzed on March 14, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I believe it’s a Pop culture reference to a two word NSFW song title that rhymes with Luck Too. Given the level of today’s pop culture, it’s understandable why a respectable person would not be familiar with it. Why do I get it? I am in no way respectable.

trubble on March 14, 2011 at 10:18 AM

The Washington Post is being disingenuous. If the Washington Post is going to compare Obama’s actions to Bush and Clinton, it should also compare Obama’s actions as President to his actions as Senator and as Presidential Candidate when he vehemently opposed Bush’s refusal to disclose the Energy meetings as a Senator and pledged to be completely open about his discussions with industry agents as a Presidential candidate.

In the end, the complete story here is not that Obama is shielding those he spoke with; it is that he is abandoning one of the important tenets he ran for to be President. Why doesn’t the Washington Post cover that “narrative.”

RedSoxNation on March 14, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I believe it’s a Pop culture reference to a two word NSFW song title that rhymes with Luck Too. Given the level of today’s pop culture, it’s understandable why a respectable person would not be familiar with it. Why do I get it? I am in no way respectable.

trubble on March 14, 2011 at 10:18 AM

I’m not all that “respectable” myself, but I had to Google it.

Such a lovely song.

hillbillyjim on March 14, 2011 at 10:20 AM

SusanAnne Hiller on March 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM
Bishop forgot his sarc tag. Pretty sure he was joking, which he does a lot. :-)

conservative pilgrim on March 14, 2011 at 9:41 AM

+1

Khun Joe on March 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

SusanAnne Hiller on March 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Bishop forgot his sarc tag. Pretty sure he was joking, which he does a lot. :-)

conservative pilgrim on March 14, 2011 at 9:41 AM

+1

Khun Joe on March 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Yeppers. To make a belabored chess reference, Bishop is King of the Commentariat when it comes to sarc/snark.

hillbillyjim on March 14, 2011 at 10:28 AM

If Kaiser were truly concerned about the cost of healthcare delivery, they’d take the lead and not keep raising their rates.

unclesmrgol on March 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM

‘Open and Transparent’

Transparent means you can see right through it.
That’s the O administration in a word.

They’re still working on that ‘Open’ thing.

TimBuk3 on March 14, 2011 at 10:42 AM

But Nancy promised that if we passed the bill, we could find out what was in it! :( :( :(

Shy Guy on March 14, 2011 at 10:45 AM

This has to be on Issa’s investigation to-do list.

Sowell Disciple on March 14, 2011 at 10:56 AM

This is not a democracy nor a republic . . . it’s a clandestine dictatorship controlled by Obama, his czars and union thugs. Thank you enlightened voters, you really stuck it to us this time.

rplat on March 14, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Halliburton!!!!!

rogersnowden on March 14, 2011 at 9:31 AM

I was doing some reading up on that firm the other day. Did you know that as of right now, George Soros owns over 1% of the company?

And many of their execs, including a senior VP, were O’bama donors in 2008.

Del Dolemonte on March 14, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Nothing this creep does can stand the light of day. He’s like some squishy, slimy thing that lives deep under rocks, planning and plotting against his imaginary enemies. What a head case, and he’s in charge of everything.

UnEasyRider on March 14, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Shy Guy on March 14, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I firmly believe, a promise from a liberal commie is like saying…if you go into a shark tank with great whites…they won’t attack you. Liberals will lie, and will attack without any shred of compassion.

It’s all about the power for them.

capejasmine on March 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM

if you go into a shark tank with great whites…

capejasmine on March 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM

RACIST!

:)

Shy Guy on March 14, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Bishop, the words you find “racist” are direct quotes from George Halvorson. It’s not surprising that he was the only exec to meet with Obama as he shares these views with Obama–and even he sees healthcare linked to Civil Rights. There were/are other African-American leaders who see it that way as well. It is not racist to point it out.

It is, however, cause to be alarmed at why they are not releasing the meeting records–wouldn’t you like to know what happened behind those closed doors? Or do you trust the government when it comes to your healthcare even though they are withholding informaton from the public?

SusanAnne Hiller on March 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Clearly a defensive posture, the clear mark of a racist.

/

fossten on March 14, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Haha. The alarms have been blaring since BO announced his candidacy.

ClanDerson on March 14, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Halverson = Kaiser health

Since Kaiser was the reason we received that wonderful legislation under Nixon and spearheaded by Ted Kennedy called The HMO Act of 1973. We can now understand why they have created another MESS in our HC system. The HMO Act needs to be repealed. Nixon and Edgar Kaiser SCHEMED to create this legislation to provide LESS HC and charge more for HC. This is a systemic problem with greedy politicians at the cost of the tax payer.

xler8bmw on March 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Excellent post. Infuriating, but excellent.

Renwaa on March 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Shouldn’t they all be issued with subpoenas and required testify in front of a House committee under oath?

It would be fun to hear George Halvorson plead the Fifth amendment in relation to conversations with Obama, would it not?

Jack Bauer on March 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Yup. Here’s where we find out if the ‘pubbies are serious.

PersonFromPorlock on March 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Another difference between Obamacare and Cheney’s energy task force and Clinton’s try at socialized health care, which I don’t think was nearly highlighted enough, is that Obama specifically ran on teh platform of having completely open meetings regarding health care reform and his party called the previous administration evil for having “secret” meetings.

Will the liberal media and the left hold Present’s feet to the fire? Will they demand access to these records? Don’t hold your breath.

Monkeytoe on March 14, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Isnt there a link maximum rule within an article???

25????

I had a seizure half way through.

Odie1941 on March 14, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Irony – in 2012 Hillary can run against him on transparency on topic.

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Hey, my “crooked bullshit artist” alarm has been going off since 2009…

mojo on March 14, 2011 at 2:02 PM

The operative word in the title is “should” but I doubt the media will even pay a passing glance…

Big John on March 14, 2011 at 8:54 PM