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  • White House Silent on Obamacare Transparency Bill

    A freshman congressman has offered legislation that would make the extensive federal rulemaking process associated with the new Obamacare law dramatically more transparent. The bill would also give Congress a stepped-up oversight role as federal agencies begin drafting rules to implement the law, which will go fully into effect by 2014.

    In fact, both the purpose and letter of the Creating Sunshine, Participation, and Accountability for Our Nation Act (H.R. 1432) align well with President Obama’s stated concern for transparency in federal rulemaking.

    The bill, introduced by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) would:

    1. Require all rules relating to Obamacare to be created in formal rulemaking processes, rather than through the less formal notice-and-comment process;
    2. Require that a Senate-confirmed official preside over all such processes;
    3. Allow press access to all Obamacare-related rulemaking procedures.

    Schweikert claims that his bill works toward the president’s own stated belief in political transparency and openness.

    “This legislation picks up the pieces of the Administration’s broken promises on ObamaCare transparency and makes it a reality,” he said in a statement. “American families and job creators, who are forced to comply with ObamaCare’s detrimental regulations, deserve to know what goes on behind closed doors.”

    The first of the three provisions would establish a high standard for rulemaking. That process, described in detail in sections 556 and 557 of the Administrative Procedure Act, is far more extensive than the notice-and-comment process. It also places a heavier burden on the agency proposing the rule.

    The second of Schweikert’s bill’s three provisions would step up scrutiny of any such hearing by placing a prominent federal official at its helm. It would also prohibit any of the president’s unelected “czars” from presiding over a rulemaking process, since by definition those officials are not confirmed by the Senate. The bill would therefore work toward more congressional oversight of the rulemaking process.

    Notably, this provision would also prevent Obama’s controversial Department of Medicare and Medicaid Services chief Dr. Donald Berwick from presiding over any Obamacare rulemaking hearing.

    The bill’s third provision, more than the other two, addresses promises made by the president and his allies. Even the bill’s acronym – CSPAN – is a way to point out Obama’s failure to live up to his own transparency pledge – both on the health care issue, and on federal rulemaking generally.

    Schweikert’s office notes that the White House had not contacted them expressing any view on the legislation, despite it being almost two months since he introduced the bill. Nor did the White House press office return inquiries about their stance on the legislation.

    Posted in Obamacare, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to White House Silent on Obamacare Transparency Bill

    1. e. cowan says:

      "A freshman congressman has offered legislation that would make the extensive federal rulemaking process associated with the new Obamacare law dramatically more transparent. The bill would also give Congress a stepped-up oversight role as federal agencies begin drafting rules to implement the law, which will go fully into effect by 2014.'
      What happened to REPEALING or at least DEFUNDING ObamaCare?
      It seems Boehner and his bunch have derailed the good intentions of the Tea Partiers.

      • Julie Ann says:

        With the democrats ruling the Senate – repealiing or defunding is next to impossible before 2012. This is another approach – a step in the right direction anyway – that will be harder for the democrats to refute. The more we bring the UGLY details buried deep in the bill to the attention of the media and voters, the better chance we have of full repeal later.

      • Mary says:

        I think we all have to go after this thing from all directions and with all artillery available…..

    2. @RCMillsJr says:

      "What happened to REPEALING or at least DEFUNDING ObamaCare? " Maybe finally we have found a realist Republican that understands that is not gonna happen.

      • Mary says:

        I still believe repeal/defund is possible…we have to use any and all artillery we can muster…

    3. @SueDinNY says:

      No chance in repealing or defunding Obamacare with Democrat controlled Senate and Democrat President. Transparency will have to do for now.

      • Nikki says:

        Very true! Sad but true….. Same reason Obama can't be impeached right now…. Senate Dems will dole out NO punishment just like they did with Clinton!

    4. Tryor says:

      Good for Schweikert! He's doing something, not just waiting for the courts. Each control we can put on Obamacare is another nail in its coffin.

    5. Felix E.Demartini MD says:

      TheFederal Emplorees Health Benefit Plan covers the employee's family and continues thru retirement.
      It is voucher paid by the Federal gov.The plan is a private insurance plan with about 250 different plans that can be selected by the insured.The insurance companies compete and costs are controlled.
      The guestion to be answered is why can't the electorate have the same plan?
      I believe this is best method to highlight the problem with a goverment run plan vs a patient selected plan that supports the individual need.
      The Obamacare plan is too complicated to be debated and understood by the electorate.The suggested guestion above, easy to grasp.

      • Scott says:

        Felix… Great idea. Also… I tried to select the "thumbs up" icon but hit the "thumbs down" icon instead and it won't let me change it. Sorry.

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