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Friday, July 24, 2009

CREW not pleased with release of health care visitors list

The list of White House visits by health care executives released by President Barack Obama indicate that private meeting began shortly after he took office, the AP reported. The list was released after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington threatened to sue the White House for the logs, which are maintained by the Secret Service. CREW says it will continue seeking visitor logs from the White House and that the disclosure "in no way satisfies" its request. "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.
President Obama's administration began holding private meetings with health industry executives and lobbyists at the White House a few weeks after he took office, a visitor list released Wednesday night by the White House shows.

Richard Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Assn., was at the White House on Feb. 4 and has been back at least half a dozen times since, most recently May 22. Other industry executives making February visits included health insurance company chief executives Angela Braly of WellPoint Inc. and Jay Gellert of Health Net Inc.

Gellert, a $500 donor to Obama's presidential campaign, was there Feb. 10, twice in March and on May 11. Braly visited on Feb. 13.
More here.

Also, WH list of health exec visits inadequate, group says from Politico
And, Obama hold on records raises hypocrisy charge from Washington Times: "Sending us a letter is not the same as releasing the records. There is a lot of information in those records that is not in the letter," CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said. "Releasing names for political expediency is not the same thing as transparency. This is not the type of transparency they promised."

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