No written health reform deals

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 5, 2010

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The Obama administration has offered little in response to a request from House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders for written records from meetings last summer between the White House and health industry stakeholders, including the American Medical Association.

The meetings produced pledges to reduce the growth in health care spending by up to $2 trillion over a decade. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R, Texas), wrote the original request. A revised version was approved Jan. 27.

White House counsel Robert F. Bauer responded on March 15 with a two-page letter saying that after a review, "we have determined that no such information exists." Bauer referred Dr. Burgess and others to public comments by Obama and other previously published information. David S. Cade, acting Dept. of Health and Human Services general counsel, responded with a similar letter.

Dr. Burgess said he is skeptical of the responses. "The administration is asking the American people to believe there are no secret deals, while touting the deals and their impact on the debate the very next minute."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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