Ask House Speaker Nancy Pelosi About Health Care

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Tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the Sunlight Foundation joins Blogher in moderating a conference call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about health care.  Blogger participants will have the chance to talk to Pelosi directly and ask her about issues deeply affecting their lives.

Pelosi has already committed to posting the final version of health care legislation for 72 hours before it comes to a vote. I hope to ask her how she plans to handle the longer term issue of lobbying disclosure reform, given what we’ve seen in recent weeks with the health care lobby wars going at full blast.

To sign up to ask your own question, click here. Or if you’d like me to ask something, please let me know in the comments section below.

This call is the fourth in a series, which has also included Rep. George Miller, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, and Sen. Amy Klochubar. All have spoken out about the importance of transparency in the health care debate and beyond. Here is Rep. Miller, exerpted from a transcript of  a call last week:

Nancy Watzman: And I’d like to ask you a very quick question as representative of the Sunlight Foundation which cares very much about transparency in government. I’m wondering what will you see transparency playing in this, you know, in the debate and what role you think it should play?

George Miller: Well, you know, I think it’s a very important part of this debate. As you know when we finally passed the three bills prior to the August break they were up on the Internet.

My Committee site, my personal site got an exceptional number of hits from people who either read it or in fact downloaded it. It was quite amazing the number of – numbers of people who downloaded it.

And I assume the other committees and the speaker site and other sites in the Congress got those same kinds of requests. As we now near the end of this process, when this bill is finalized, I mean, as I said earlier we’re going to go to the Congressional Budget Office, we’ll get new costs and then we’ll have to make changes according to that.

And then when we’re ready to introduce the bill, when the bill’s introduced that bill will be on the Internet for 72 hours. And if there is a manager’s amendment which would be – usually it deals with making relatively small changes but it could be some other issue that pops up.

And if that manager’s amendment – when it is approved by the Rules Committee that will also have to be on there for 72 hours. So in my, you know, ordinarily around here you introduce the bill.

That bill would be on the Internet for 72 hours. During that time you might be putting together a manager’s amendment so – and that manager’s amendment is approved by the Rules Committee.

Another 72 hours would run so you can see here spaces of time, you know, made – whether it’s two 72-hour periods or something – somewhat longer than that. But the final drafts of the bill and the manager’s amendment will both be available on the Internet for that period of time. Speaker Pelosi is committed to that and the rest of the issue is committed to that.

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  • I just read the first copy of Pelosi’s Manager’s Amendment in a PDF file.
    I have two quick responses:
    1. The PDF file is simply graphic images of the pages — it is not searchable. I am suspicious of why they did this. They obviously realize it is much harder to search.
    2. There is a huge section called “555 Second Generation Biofuel Producer Credit” conveniently placed in the middle of this amendment. What is this for????

  • Do any of you In the House or the Senate really believe that any of the fall back proposals will really control health care costs? The only way to deal with the profit motives of health insurance companies is to have a public option. No other scheme will keep them in check.

  • wulfmankarl

    Paul Krugman Admits the Real Reason he Likes Inflation – It will bring about an Egalitarian Utopia

    http://02e56fa.netsolhost.com/blog1/index.php/2009/10/14/paul-krugman-admits-the-real-reason-he-l

  • Rafael DeGennaro

    Nancy,
    Can you ask Speaker Pelosi to clarify whether she’ll post the health care bill 72 hours before the VOTE or 72 hours before CONSIDERATION begins.

    The distinction is vital. The Cafferty post you link to says 72 hours before the vote. If that’s correct, Sunlight should hold her accountable for trying to evade this requirement.

    72 hours before consideration — Required by H.Res. 554, backed by Sunlight Fdn. Consistent with House rules. Meaningful.

    72 hours before the vote — A meaningless way to gut this requirement. It’s how the Senate gutted its rule on that side.
    Rafael

  • Cloyd

    I see that the Speaker has said that the final healthcare bill will be available on the Net for 72 hours — will she confirm that the final bill will be available in its entirety for at least 72 hours before any scheduled vote, accompanied by final CBO scoring?

  • Drew from Rockford, IL

    Speaker Pelosi,

    Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Paul Krugman, Jacob Hacker and Jan Schakowsky have all stated that the public option will eventually lead to a single payer system.

    Do you agree with these statements? Or do you feel the public option will not eventually lead to complete government control of health care?