Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Should Public Healthcare Be Negotiated In Private?

The Democrats' Secret Plan to Pass Health Care Reform

Associated Content — Ordinarily when a bill such as health care reform passes the House and the Senate in different forms, a House-Senate Conference Committee is formed to reconcile the differences, with a single bill being drafted to be passed by the House and Senate.

But health care reform is not ordinary legislation nor are these ordinary times. The House and Senate Democratic leadership have concocted a scheme to create a new bill in secret, without either Republicans or dissident Democrats, and The Democrats' Secret Plan to Pass Health Care Reform then ram the new bill through the House and the Senate.
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Health care: Shutting out the GOP?

The Week — House and Senate Democrats are "almost certain" to sidestep a formal conference committee and negotiate informally to reconcile the health-care reform bills they have passed, two top congressional staffers told The New Republic. By "ping-ponging" the legislation back and forth, Democrats reportedly hope to avoid a series of procedural steps requiring votes and full debates that Republicans could use to delay negotiations. Would foregoing a conference committee shut out Republicans, or just save time before an inevitable showdown over the final vote?
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C-SPAN: Health Care Talks Should Be Televised

ABC News — The C-SPAN television network is calling on congressional leaders to open health care talks to cameras — something President Barack Obama promised as a candidate.

Instead the most critical negotiations on Obama's health plan have taken place behind closed doors, as Republicans repeatedly point out. In a Dec. 30 letter to House and Senate leaders released Tuesday, C-SPAN chief executive Brian Lamb asked for negotiations on a compromise bill to be opened up for public viewing, as Democrats work to reconcile differences between legislation passed by the two chambers.
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