White House Won’t Say Who Attended Private Obamacare Meetings

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 11, 2011   |   4:18PM   |   Washington, DC

House Republicans are upset the Obama administration continues to stonewall in releasing information about who attended private meetings with President Barack Obama and key officials in crafting Obamacare.

Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday sent a letter to White House Counsel Robert Bauer repeating their calls for the White House to release records of closed-door negotiations with special interest groups while writing the health care law, which pro-life groups opposed because of loopholes allowing abortion funding and rationing concerns.

On February 18, Chairman Fred Upton, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts, and Health Subcommittee Vice Chair Michael Burgess wrote to Nancy-Ann DeParle, former head of the White House Office of Health Reform, seeking basic information about that office and the meetings convened with various lobbying groups prior to passage of the health care law.

Bauer, thus far, has declined to cooperate with the committee’s request, describing it as too “vast and expensive.”

“We are both concerned and disappointed by the administration’s refusal to provide this valuable information.  The defense that our request is too ‘vast and expensive’ seems to indicate that there have been more secret meetings than we originally thought,” the lawmakers said in a statement. “Our concern is further compounded by recent press reports that the White House held meetings at a Caribou Coffee shop in order to avoid listing visitors on Secret Service logs, which are part of the public record. The secret meetings apparently conducted by the WHOHR are a perfect example of why transparency is so important.”

“The administration promised the ‘most transparent presidential administration in history.’ It’s time they made good on their promise and allowed the American people to know how this massive health care bill really came to pass,” they said.

What is known is that the Planned Parenthood abortion business played a role in shaping the Obamacare legislation.

White House visitor logsLifeNews.com accessed in February 2010 revealed what pro-life advocates suspected would happen once President Barack Obama took over as president. He and his administration have allowed the Planned Parenthood abortion business unfettered access to the White House and top staffers.

At that time, Richards had visited the White House and spent time with Obama administration officials on four occasions.

The Obama administration put together a White House health care summit in March 2009 which saw Richards and Planned Parenthood invited to promote abortion while pro-life groups were left out.

The visitor logs also reveal Richards attended a private meeting with Obama administration staff on June 6 and July 7, 2009.

The June meeting saw 28 people gather at an event coordinated by Valerie Jarrett’s White House Office of Public Engagement. Kathleen Richardson, who headed the public-relations offensive designed to woo groups to support the health care bills, coordinated the meeting. The logs don’t reveal how long Richards stayed.

The July event had Richards in a one-hour private meeting with Tina Tchen, the executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, which pro-life advocates say is promoting abortion on a worldwide level. The meeting likely included discussion of plans for Tchen to appear at a Planned Parenthood event held just two weeks later.

The logs also showed Richards met privately with Anita Dunn, the then-White House communications director, for almost an hour on October 28, 2009. That’s the day House Democrats unveiled the House version of the pro-abortion health care bill prior to the Stupak amendment that banned abortion funding.