Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Different KIND of Transparency [UPDATED]

Regular readers know that transparency in health care has long been one of our pet "causes:" unlike almost any other product or service, it's often (usually?) impossible to know, up front, how much a given medical procedure will cost. Thus, carriers and providers have been working for some time to offer tools that empower consumers in this area.

On the other hand, it seems that our Betters in Government© scoff at the very idea that consumers - citizens - should be empowered to know how much their bill's going to be. As health care "reform" moves inexorably forward, there's less and less actual information available to us regarding its price tag. Now that both houses of congress have passed their versions of ObamaCare, it's time for us to see how the various differences will be resolved.

Or not:

"C-SPAN wrote a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday asking that TV cameras be allowed to film negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of healthcare reform legislation."

And the reply?

"Pelosi also hinted that holding informal negotiations--likely without TV cameras--might be the most practical way to push the legislation through."

Got that? "[P]ush the legislation through." Not "discuss and debate what the American people want."

Oh, and about that "transparency?"

"We will do what is necessary to pass the bill," Pelosi said."

Uh hunh.

So what can we ordinary folk, the ones who will (along with our children and grandchildren) ultimately foot the bill and suffer under a reduced level of care, do about it? Turns out, an organization called Patients First has launched a drive to "encourage" a more open process:

"Sign the petition today and demand transparency and an end to the secret meetings and back room deals. Let the cameras in!"

It's one simple and easy way to empower ourselves to demand a little transparency in government. Go and sign it; I already did.

[Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin]

UPDATE (via Ace of Spades): Remember when Candidate Barack Obama promised that negotiations on health care "reform" would be the most transparent ever, because they'd all be televised?

In case you don't (or he doesn't):

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