Harper also wants CSPAN coverage of health talks

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R–Miss.) issued the following statement today in support of a request by C-SPAN that all future health care negotiations be open to the public through media coverage.

“Concerned citizens across the country are tuned in as House Democratic leaders assemble the massive health care overhaul behind closed doors. Ironically, President Obama stated in the first sentence of his first executive order that, ‘My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.’ While discussing the health care overhaul during his presidential campaign, he declared, ‘We’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.’

“Recently, C-SPAN wrote congressional leaders requesting all future health care negotiations be open to the public through media coverage. The American people deserve a seat at the table and so I strongly support this request by C-SPAN, and urge the Democratic leadership to follow suit. Citizens deserve openness, transparency and accountability, not more secretive backroom deals.

“Families all over our country are tightening their belts and small businesses are cutting expenses to help weather this economic storm. This is why it is important that Congress pass responsible health care reform that lowers costs and provides greater access to affordable care. We need to fix what is broken in our health care system in a way that protects families and that does not raise premiums for private policy holders and burden states with unfunded mandates. Sadly, the Democratic plan for a government takeover of health care will increase government spending, raise taxes and increase health care costs. This is not the prescription for reform the American people want or deserve.”