Obama Admin banned reporters from key public Obamacare meetings

Photo by Zach Klein (Some Rights Reserved)

The Obama Administration banned reporters from public meetings last year on a key aspect of Obamacare's Health Insurance Exchanges according to a report by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

The meetings, ten in all, were called "listening sessions" and were held in various cities across the country to discuss how to define Obamacare's list of "Essential Health Benefits."

The AHCJ reports that the Department of Health and Human Services not only did not invite the press, but would not allow reporters into these meetings--despite the fact that they were open to the public!

After lobbying HHS, AHCJ was able to get HHS to create a new media policy statement:

Meetings that are open to the public are, by definition, open to the media.

But the damage is already done, AHCJ says that it "asked for the list of 'stakeholders' who attended and any notes from the meetings, but HHS was unable to provide them."

Americans for Limited Government is now drafting a formal Freedom of Information Act request to find out who was at these meetings and what was said.

Incidents like this make us question what President Obama said at the beginning of his administration, "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."[1]

[1] John Ward and Christina Bellantoni, "Obama starts Day one with tougher ethics rules," THE WASHINGTON TIMES (Jan. 22, 2009) A01.