Nine Republicans, including two members of the so-called “Gang of Six,” have been invited to join 12 Democrats and a handful of White House advisers for a much-talked-about healthcare summit, slated for Feb. 25.
White House releases healthcare summit guest list
The summit, called by President Barack Obama this past week, aims to capture workable ideas from both Democrats and Republicans in an effort to pass a healthcare reform package on Capitol Hill.
“Now is the time to act on behalf of the millions of Americans and small businesses who are counting on meaningful health insurance reform,” Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote to the invited lawmakers. “In the last year, there has been an extraordinary effort to craft effective legislation.”
Obama is expected to preside over the meeting, which will be televised live. Topics include: insurance reform, cost containment, expanding coverage and the impact reforming the U.S. healthcare system will have on the nation's debt.
Party leaders from both sides of Capitol Hill, as well as senior lawmakers from both parties, made the guest list.
Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, both of who spent months working with Democrats as part of a tight-knit, bipartisan team that ultimately failed to garner GOP support, were invited. Both Grassley and Enzi are the senior Republicans on the Senate committees that shaped reform legislation.
Senate chairmen Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), were also invited.
Additionally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), have also been tapped to attend.
On the House side, the three committee chairmen who helped write their version of health reform—and their Republican counterparts on the committees—were invited. They join party leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), John Boehner (R-Ohio), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as invitees.
Further, Sebelius, Vice President Joe Biden and Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office of Health Reform, will be in attendance. They'll join representatives from the Office of Management and Budget, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation will be in attendance.
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Physician Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.