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An Open Letter to the United States House of Representatives: Support the Health Care Transparency Resolution!
January 20, 2010
On behalf of an ideologically diverse coalition of millions of Americans, we write to strongly urge that you sign the discharge petition for H. Res. 847. Introduced by Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL), this petition would force a vote on a bipartisan "Sunshine Resolution" to call on Congress and the Obama Administration to conduct all negotiations surrounding landmark health care reform legislation "in full public view and not behind closed doors."
The last few months of deliberation on health care have exposed myriad issues on which the left and right sides of our political spectrum are deeply divided. However, robust transparency in the drafting of legislation is one of the few matters that bind all of the signatories together. Simply stated, Americans of all political stripes are united in their demand for an end to the cloistered discussions that mar our legislative process.
Our health care system affects too many lives and too many dollars to allow legislation reforming it to be designed in secret. Should such a bill become law, it would alter the circumstances of tens of millions of families and businesses. Those Americans need full access to any meetings in which decisions will be made regarding final language and details about how each chamber will proceed to the legislation, whether between Members, their legislative staff, or outside interests.
Signing this discharge petition will not be an act of politics, but one of principle. It will demonstrate your belief in the values of transparency and openness in government that enjoy overwhelming support by the American people and have been touted by President Obama and Congressional leaders. Please sign the discharge petition for H. Res. 847 in order to provide the transparency that your constituents want and deserve.
William Haygood Shaker
Thomas A. Schatz
Michelle D. Bernard
Donald P. Racheter, PhD
J.H. Snider, MBA, PhD
Michael D. Ostrolenk
John W. Whitehead
Robert S. Knego, MD
Ellen S. Miller
Dane von Breichenruchardt