Committee Investigation Reveals Tactics and Negotiations Used to Build Obamacare

May 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), today released a memo and supporting documentation outlining a series of intricate policy negotiations used to craft the health care law, the full details of which have never been released to the public. The memo is part on an ongoing investigation the committee launched more than a year ago to shine light on a process that excluded both the American people and many of their elected representatives. Despite the White House’s unwillingness to make these negotiations transparent, even after the fact, the investigation has uncovered a series of emails and internal documents that paint a much clearer picture of the tools and tactics used by the Obama administration to secure a narrow, partisan victory and see PPACA signed into law.

Media accounts that attempted to track the negotiations as the law was being crafted reflected confusion and sometimes conflicting information about what had been agreed to and when. One such incident, discussed in greater detail in the memo, followed the White House’s announcement that six organizations had committed to reduce health care costs by $2 trillion. Amid the resulting discord, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) evidently saw its opening to strike a bargain with the White House.

Documents released by the committee today show major negotiation milestones throughout 2009 as the White House attempted to secure a deal with the interest groups who had been invited to the bargaining table. The materials reflect negotiating tactics used by top White House personnel including threats of public criticism and policy declarations. They also show that PhRMA was assured a “direct line of communication” with the White House, and that the organization was offered private reassurances about the deal remaining intact in spite of congressional concerns.

To learn more about the committee’s investigation, click here to read a memo released on May 16, 2012, and click here to read a memo released on April 17, 2012.