READ IT AND WEEP – Whose been meeting with the Healthcare Lobby and Healthcare Heavy Hitters?

Some comments to our blogs have continually made such statements as, “the EVIL Insurance Lobby will run in and take over with their influence through exorbitant, obscene, campaign contributions”.   All the while, the White House and democrats keep claiming that all the dissent is a product of money and influence of the healthcare industry and its lobby.  You couldn’t be more WRONG! 

We know Obama campaigned telling us he would clean up Washington and remove the lobbying influence.  I could find quotes, but we all know this is true.   So who does Obama and his administration meet with to discuss healthcare reform? 

Here’s the a partial list from Obama’s White House meetings concerning healthcare, (released only when the threat of litigations loomed even though this same issue,  refusal to release the names of White House visitors under claims of Executive Privilege,  was excoriated by the Dems as the policy of the Bush Admin i.e., the energy policy  meetings):

From the LA Times (see: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-healthcare-talks23- 2009jul23,0,220833.story)

                 “During his presidential campaign, Obama promised to hold lobbyists at arm’s length and make his  administration the most transparent in history.

                Obama was asked at a news conference Wednesday night about his administration’s refusal to say who had been to the White House to discuss a national healthcare overhaul.

                “On the list of healthcare executives who visited us, most of [the] time you guys have been in there taking pictures, so it hasn’t been a secret,” he said. “And my understanding is we just sent a letter out providing a full list of all the executives.”

                CREW said it was pleased that the White House had provided the list but that it would continue seeking the visitor logs.

                “The actual visitor records likely would indicate with whom each official met, the administration official who requested clearance for the visitor, the time of the meeting, the duration of the meeting and, in some cases,  the purpose of the meeting. In addition, no information was provided regarding any visits to the vice president’s residence,” the group said in a written statement.

                Other healthcare industry representatives named in the White House list include:

                * Registered lobbyist W.J. “Billy” Tauzin, a former Louisiana congressman who heads the drug industry lobby the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA.

                * Registered lobbyist Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade association.
               
                * Dr. J. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Assn.

                * William Weldon, chief executive of Johnson & Johnson.

                * George Halvorson, head of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.

                * Thomas Priselac, chief executive of the Cedars-Sinai Health System.

                * Registered lobbyist Rick Smith, a senior vice president of PhRMA.”

AND THIS, from a politico.com article

Anne L. Weismann, Esq.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
1400 Eye Street, NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Ms. Weismann:

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request to the United States Department of Homeland Security dated June 22, 2009. The request seeks records relating to any visits to the White House by eighteen health care executives since January 21, 2009. I understand that the Department of Homeland Security responded to your request by letter dated July 7, 2009. The letter stated that the legal status of White House visitor records is the subject of ongoing litigation and that the White House is reviewing its policy governing the discretionary release of such records.

There is no more important issue than health care reform, and the President is fully committed to helping Americans live healthier lives, preventing illness, and increasing the competitiveness of our country. Given the compelling public interest in the health care debate and the President’s goal of increasing transparency in government, we have reviewed the White House visitors records related to the eighteen individuals listed in your request through June 30, 2009. The President has decided to exercise his discretion and release the following information, which is reflected in the relevant visitor records:

· Bill Tauzin visited the White House on March 5, May 19, June 2, and June 24.

· Karen Ignagni visited the White House on March 5, 6, and 11 and June 30.

· Richard Umbdenstock visited the White House on February 4, February 23; March 5, March 25, March 30; April 6, and May 22.

· J. James Rohack visited the White House on March 25, June 22, and June 24.

· William C. Weldon visited the White House on May 12.

· Jeffrey B. Kindler visited the White House on March 5, May 6, and June 2.

· Stephen J. Hemsley visited the White House on May 15 and 22.

· Angela F. Braly visited the White House on February 13.

· George Halvorson visited the White House on March 27 and June 5.

· Jay Gellert visited the White House on February 10, March 11, and March 20.

· Thomas Priselac visited the White House on April 3.

· Richard Clark visited the White House on March 24.

· Wayne T. Smith visited the White House on June 4.

· Rick Smith visited the White House on May 19 and June 2.

In addition to the above information, the White House visitor records reflect that Mr. Tauzin, Ms. Ignagni, Mr. Umbdenstock, Mr. Rohack, Mr. Kindler, Mr. Halvorson, Mr. Gellert, Mr. Priselac, David Nexon, and Rick Smith were scheduled to attend a May 11 meeting at the White House. We understand that all the individuals attended the meeting except Mr. Kindler, and that Mr. Clark attended as well. Finally, the visitor records do not reflect any visits by the following individuals: Ben J. Lipps; William A. Hawkins, III; or Robert L. Parkinson.

We are continuing to review your specific FOIA request, as well as the White House’s general policy governing the discretionary release of visitor records.

Sincerely,
Gregory B. Craig
Counsel to the President

AND FINALLY THE TALLY OF VISITS TO DATE – of what has been provided, (from http://www.citizensforethics.org/files/20090904%20-%20Summary%20of%20Health%20Care%20Visits.pdf):

Newly released records of visits to the Obama White House by health care executives provide some important new details not included in the White House’s July 22 letter sent to CREW on the eve of the President’s health care press conference. The records identify the names of the individuals the visitors were meeting with, and include information about scheduled appointments that apparently never took place. The new records include information from WAVES records, which show the scheduled dates of appointments, as well as ACR records, which show when the visitor actually entered the White House complex. Details from the new records are outlined below.

Bill Tauzin (President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America) [my insertion: Tauzin was a co-sponsor of the Bush Medicare policy that DOES NOT ALLOW for prescription drug pricing negotiation, see: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/drugs/2004-12-15-drugs-usat_x.htm]:

            • March 5 (meeting with president)

            • May 19 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

            • June 2 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

            • June 24 (meeting with Clare Gallagher)

            • July 7 (meeting with Jim Messina)

Karen Ignagni (President and CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans):

            • March 5 (meeting with president)

            • March 6 (meetings with Elizabeth Bafford and Larry Summers)

            • March 11 (meeting with Jennifer Cannistra)

            • June 30 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

            • July 24 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

Richard Umdenstock (President and CEO, American Hospital Ass’n.):

            • February 4 (meeting with Tina Tchen)

            • February 23 (meeting with president)

            • March 5 (meeting with president)

            • March 25 (meeting with Jennifer Cannistra)

            • March 30 (meeting with Ezekiel Emanuel)

            • April 6 (meeting with Tina Tchen)

            • May 22 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

J. James Rohack (President-elect, American Medical Ass’n.):

            • March 25 (meeting with Ezekiel Emanuel)

            • June 22 (meeting with president)

            • June 24 (meetings with Clare Gallagher and president)

William Weldon (Chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson):

            • May 12 (meeting with president) Jeffrey B. Kindler (Chairman and CEO, Pfizer Inc.):

            • March 5 (meeting with president)

            • May 6 (meetings with Sarah Fenn and Elizabeth Bafford)

            • June 2 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

Stephen J. Hemsley (President, CEO, Director, UnitedHealth Group, Inc.):

            • May 15 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

            • May 22 (meeting with Peter Orszag)

            • July 14 (meeting with Aneesh Chopra)

Angela Braly (President, CEO, Director, WellPoint, Inc.):

            • February 13 (meeting with president)

George Halvorson (Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan):

            • March 27 (meeting with Keith Fontenot)

            • June 5 (meeting with Peter Orszag)

            • July 23 (meeting with Kathleen Sibelius)

            • July 24 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

Jay Gellert (President and CEO, Health Net, Inc.):

            • February 10 (meeting with Tina Tchen)

            • March 11 (meeting with Jennifer Cannistra)

            • March 20 (meeting with Matt Flavin)

            • July 24 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

Thomas Priselac (President and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System):

            • April 3 (meeting with Ezekiel Emanuel)

Richard Clark (Chairman, President and CEO, Merck):

            • March 24 (meeting with Ezekiel Emanuel)

Wayne T. Smith (Chairman, President and CEO, Community Health Systems):

            • June 4 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

Rick Smith (Sr. Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America):

            • May 19 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

            • June 2 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

            • July 7 (meeting with Jim Messina)

            • July 24 (meeting with Sarah Fenn)

By the same assertions that the dissent is being led and funded by Republicans and Healthcare Industry Lobbyists and Corporate Interests, we could logically construe by these lists of  meetings the Obama administration and Obama himself have conducted, Obama is now a Republican, or in the BACK POCKET OF THESE ENTITIES!   Americans may surmise he has switched parties but it’s not to the Republican Party…

About these ads

One Response

  1. Thank you CeCe,

    Don’t you just love all the “Transparency” that the Whitehouse is exhibiting. It takes the use of the “Freedom of Information Act” to get the “real story” of what is going on behind our backs.

    “The word “Collusion” keeps us all, up at night!

    Encarta Dictionary describes the meaning of “Collusion” as secret cooperation between people (government) and (Big Business) in order to do something either illegal or underhanded.”

    I was called a “mental case” by the otherside because of my assertions to all in our government working with those who support and control the healthcare industry.

    After this expose, I would undoubtedly say that many of us nailed it right.

    All for political expediency (self-serving interest) and the heck with the rest of us!

    Toss all the bums out of office 2010 and sweep them all out in 2012!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,404 other followers

%d bloggers like this: