[StBernard] Saying "No" to Your Right to Know

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 28 20:24:02 EDT 2009

Saying "No" to Your Right to Know
By Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond

"I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll
have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is
making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making
arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."

- Barack Obama, August, 2008

As we write, a small group of White House officials and three senators are
huddled in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office deciding what
kind of health care you and your family will be allowed to have.

Major policy decisions, such as whether or not there will be a government
run "public" option, are being made. Backroom deals are being cut - all in
secret. No C-SPAN cameras allowed.

If you think you should have a voice in this process, there is a place to
make your voice heard. Just visit healthtransformation.net
3:02A2AAF40D7232504470CA794128B049> .

What Did Liberals Learn From the Townhalls?
Shut Out the Troublemakers

It's not like Americans have been apathetic about the future of our health
care. Since this process began, we've demanded to know what is happening.

Last summer, Americans filled townhall meetings, many armed with copies of
the 1000+ page bill that had been filed in the House - a bill that most
lawmakers had never read.

And the more we learned, the less we supported the Pelosi Plan.

But what did Speaker Pelosi and the other supporters of liberal health care
reform learn? How did they decide to use this input from the American

After August, Liberals Were More Determined Than
Ever to Ram Through a Bill

Some began cancelling town hall meetings. Others actually carded people in
the audience to make sure they lived in their district. Still others began
verbally chastising the citizens who asked questions.

Upon their return to Washington, it was clear that they had discounted what
they heard at the town hall meetings. It was as if their meetings with the
American people had never happened.

They were more determined than ever to ram through legislation.

Democrats Blocked an Attempt to Require That
Bills Be Posted Online

In the Senate, the Finance Committee decided to pass a vague proposal -
containing no legislative details or cost analysis - and allow no
opportunity for the American people or their elected representatives to know
what was being considered until after it was done.

During the process, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment to
require that all bills be publicly available for 72 hours with legislative
text and an official budget analysis from the Congressional Budget Office
(CBO) prior to being considered.

The Democrats blocked the amendment, never allowing it to get fair and full
consideration by the Senate, even though eight Senate Democrats supported
the requirement. Senators Bayh (Ind.), Lincoln (Ark.), Pryor (Ark.),
McCaskill (Mo.), Landrieu (La.), Nelson (Neb.), Lieberman (Conn.) and Webb
(Va.), should be commended for later contacting the leadership urging them
to support the change.

"When We Come Back In September, I Will be Available to
Answer Any Question That Members of Congress Have"

It appears clear that the decision has been made to ignore the promise
President Obama made to worried Americans in the summer of 2008 and again
last July when he declared:

"So I just want everybody to know, Congress will have time to read the bill.
They will have time to debate the bill. They will have all of August to
review the various legislative proposals. When we come back in September, I
will be available to answer any question that members of Congress have. If
they want to come over to the White House and go over line by line what's
going on, I will be happy to do that."

It is unfortunate that the Democratic leadership has decided it would be
easier to rush their legislation through rather than honoring the people's
right to know.

Then again, maybe that choice is all Americans need to know when judging the
Democrats' healthcare bill.

Go to healthtransformation.net
3:02A2AAF40D7232504470CA794128B049> to Make Your Voice Heard

President Obama has failed to deliver on his repeated promises of
transparency and openness.

But that doesn't mean that we have to silently accept a government health
care bill that was negotiated in secret and paid for with deals cut with
special interests using our tax dollars.

Please sign the Center for Health Transformation's (CHT) petition at click
3:02A2AAF40D7232504470CA794128B049> , to tell Washington that We The People
demand that all bills be publicly available, including legislative language
and accurate budget analysis, at least 72 hours prior to any vote by
Congress or committees in Congress.

There's still time to make your voice heard.

"60 Minutes" Takes On Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

The correspondent announced the report with the warning that "it might raise
your blood pressure."

He was right. Last Sunday night, CBS's "60 Minutes" ran a not-to-be-missed
expose of something that the Center for Health Transformation has been
warning about for months: The unbelievable amount of fraud taxpayers are
footing the bill for in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

"60 Minutes" estimates that an amazing $90 billion in spending on these
programs each year is due to fraud. That's right in line with what CHT's Jim
Frogue and I report in our book Stop Paying the Crooks
3:02A2AAF40D7232504470CA794128B049> .

For more on CHT's campaign to fight Medicare and Medicaid fraud, click here
3:02A2AAF40D7232504470CA794128B049> .

To watch the "60 Minutes" report, click here
3:02A2AAF40D7232504470CA794128B049> .

Your friends,
Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond

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