Richard Frank, vice chairman of the Citizens Health Care Working Group, said he is disappointed in the White Houses near-wholesale dismissal of the groups recommendations and that overall, he thinks the administration gave the report short shrift. It wasnt entirely unexpected, Frank said, adding that it wasnt a very careful discussion of the issues that we raised.
Bush officials on Tuesday sent the group and members of Congress a written response that rejected the majority of the six recommendations that had been shaped by more than 80 cross-country meetings and from comments by thousands of Americans. At their core, the recommendations championed health coverage for all, regardless of financial status, and would have leaned more on the federal government for other fixes.
While the administration said it shares in many of the groups goals, it differs, however, on how to achieve them.
It is unfortunate that the White House has missed another opportunity, Melissa Merz, communications director for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), said in a statement. Wyden, along with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), created the group. -- by Matthew DoBias