Democrats Oppose Amendment That Would Add Transparency to the Health Care Debate

My remarks in support of this amendment are below:

I strongly support this amendment. I remember sitting on the dais when President Obama was inaugurated and gave his inaugural speech where he talked about the importance of transparency in government. He said ‘transparency breeds accountability and builds public confidence.’ I think this Committee has done a good job under your leadership putting the amendments that have been filed on the website on Saturday. I’ve gotten emails, tweets and all sorts of communication about amendments that I’ve filed and other people have filed.

I would suggest to you this legislation has captured the imagination and certainly the attention of the American people. There are a lot of people across America who are reading these bills – they’ve read the House bill, they’ve read the HELP Committee Bill and they are intensely interested in what this Committee is doing.

For a bill – most of which will not be implemented until 2013 – it is not an inconvenience, it is not something we ought to overlook, the opportunity to get the American people to be able to read it and get a full score. I’ve heard a lot of discussion at town hall meetings and elsewhere. People are mad about Congress voting on things we haven’t even read.

I don’t know how anybody can be held accountable or build public confidence if we don’t have the information, and the American people don’t have the information, to make their own evaluation, to ask questions and hold us accountable.


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