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HUMAN EVENTS talks to Sens. Reid, Murray after lunch at White House to discuss health care.


Senate Dems Haven’t Reached Out to Senate Docs on Health Care

HUMAN EVENTS talks to Sens. Reid, Murray after lunch at White House to discuss health care.

Emerging from the White House after the working lunch he and and his 59 fellow Democratic senators held with President Obama yesterday (August 4), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) told my colleagues and me in the White House Press Corps that: “Everyone recognizes that we are going to do, if there’s any way that’s humanly possible, a bipartisan bill. We don’t want to do a partisan bill.”

The preference of the American people, Reid emphasized, is “we do it together.”

Swell, I thought, so a good place for the Democrats in the Senate to start would be to reach out to the two members of that body who are physicians and happen to be Republicans: Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Barasso of Wyoming, M.D.s.

So, as the press session broke up and the Democratic lawmakers left the “stakeout” outside the Oval Office, I caught up with Reid and asked him whether there was any discussion of including the two senators who are doctors in working out the final details of a health care package.

“No,” Reid told me without hesitation, “We didn’t discuss that.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D.-Wash.), the Senate Democratic Conference Secretary, was also departing. I posed the same question toMurray, fifth-ranked official in the Senate Democratic hierarchy: did the Democratic senators have any discussion during their lunch with President Obama of including the two physician-senators in crafting a final health care bill?

“No,” she replied, “Not specifically.”

Asked about the cold water thrown on including his boss and Barasso in the discussion of a final health care bill, Coburn spokesman John Hart told me: ““It’s unfortunate that some Senate leaders have, for purely partisan reasons, refused to accept the input of the medical doctors in the Senate. We have the health care system we have today because career politicians, lawyers, lobbyists and unelected staff believe they know more about health care than patients and doctors.”

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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