A Republican physician in Congress has asked the White House to disclose more details regarding healthcare reform negotiations between the administration and hospital and pharmaceutical groups.
GOP congressman wants details on Obama's deals with health industry
''It has now been over four months since the White House announced numerous deals with major stakeholders in the healthcare debate to save upwards of $2 trillion in the healthcare system," Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), who chairs the party's Congressional Health Care Caucus, wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama. "Little to no details regarding the negotiations have been released, and recent actions and press reports have reminded me of the importance of openness and transparency throughout the legislative process.”
One of the deals mentioned involved the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and the Catholic Health Association agreeing to $155 billion in cuts—an estimated $103 billion in inflationary updates and $50 billion from disproportionate share payments—in exchange for certain protections from an proposed independent payment advisory board and tweaks to rules that govern tax-exempt status.
Burgess questioned whether these negotiations were in the best interest of the public. "Will smaller stakeholders suffer more from our policy choices because of what larger groups may have negotiated behind closed doors?”
Burgess asked the White House to provide more information on the meetings with healthcare stakeholders that took place earlier this year toward "securing an agreement on health reform legislation, efforts to pay for any such legislation, and undertakings to bend the out year cost curve,” a reference to attempts to deal with rising Medicare and Medicaid costs.
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