Health care negotiations

Despite assurances by President Obama that the debate over health care reform would be a public one, Democrats are moving to close the meetings to the public. The House and Senate passed different versions of the health care reform bill, and those differences must now be resolved in committee. Rules in both the House and Senate say conference committee meetings must be open to the public, and multiple promises were made during Obama’s presidential campaign that negotiations on health care would be an open process and televised. But after a meeting with her leadership team, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the promise of transparency, “There were a number of things (Obama) was for on the campaign trail.” The comment was seen as evidence she has no intention of opening the process to public scrutiny.

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