Gingrich to Obama: keep word on televising healthcare talks

January 7, 2010

USA-POLITICS/Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wants President Barack Obama to keep a promise he made on the campaign trail: televise the final talks on healthcare reform on C-SPAN.

Eight times during the campaign, Obama said he planned to put the talks on healthcare reform on television, Gingrich said — and he even has links to YouTube clips to prove it.

Now that the talks have reached the stage of reconciling separate House and Senate bills, it is the time to deliver on that promise, he said.

“It is in the long-term interest of America to let the light in and let people watch what’s going on and have the whole process on C-SPAN,” Gingrich told a news conference in Atlanta.

“This is too important an issue and too big a bill to rush it through in secret in order to meet an artificial deadline so they can have the State of the Union as a victory speech,” he said.

Gingrich, who is starting a petition to persuade Obama to keep his word, couches his call in the most conciliatory terms – saying he “agrees” with the president’s earlier promise.

Still, the potential for embarrassment is lost on no one. The last thing Congressional leaders want is to hold such sensitive talks in public and there is no evidence that the White House thinks differently.

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Photo credit: Reuters/John Gress (Gingrich in 2007)

3 comments

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Personally I agree with him, even though I will always question Gingrich’s motives…

Posted by pyradius | Report as abusive

The health care discussion should always and from the beginning, have been about ensuring that every citizen have access the highest quality of care available. It should have been about ensuring the rights of citizens to free choice. It should have been about recognizing and encouraging preventative care, health education, holistic approaches to care, etc.

The whole of these bills should have been focused on the health of the citizenry. When a law is crafted solely for the benefit of the people without profit being extracted from them, they will gladly contribute in taxes.

The reason people hate paying taxes is because they feel, and rightly so, that the tax money is not used purely in their interests. They see the money they pay in taxes going towards buffering the profit margins of businesspeople who have no interest in serving the citizen.

If we knew that this health care initiative was focused on making sure that you or I, or any of our loved ones would have access to high quality medical services, we would be willing to pay taxes to support that. No reasonable person would be unable to see the benefit of extending the same kind of protection we offer against crime and fire to the medical services. Health and quality of life are the very reasons everyone gets up and goes to work every day.

We don’t jump into the rat race because we enjoy the stress. We want a good life. And a good life is inseparable from good health. Everything has a price. Whether that price be money, time, sweat, blood, pride, or whatever, it makes no difference. If it is worth having then it is worth paying the price for.

Ask yourself if you want access to the best medical care available, or if you would rather settle for what your insurance policy will cover. Think about it in THOSE TERMS because those are the terms you and your loved ones will be living under after the bill passes in what ever form it’s in.

This is NOT AN ACCOUNTING ISSUE. This is about your health and the health of the ones you love. Make sure the agenda stays on that or as a citizen, you will be seen only as a financial statistic.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

The president needs to make good on his promise. He needs to let C-Span in and televise the negotiations. Our leaders don’t want us to see these things because they don’t want the citizenry to know how they will be given the shaft for the sake of “deal making”. If these people were truly working in our interests we should be able to see the deliberations live.

What reason could the possibly have for not wanting the general public to see and hear the negotiations as they happen? This is an issue that will affect all citizens directly, so why are we not allowed to see the process unfold? Do we really have a government that is of the people, for the people and by the people? It’s not looking that way.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive