Watchdog Not Satisfied By White House List Of Health Care Visitors

The White House still isn't being transparent enough about the industry executives that President Barack Obama and his top aides have been meeting with as they craft their plans for an overhaul of the nation's health care system, says a watchdog group.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued last month to get White House visitor records. Last night, White House counsel Greg Craig sent CREW a letter listing some names, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Here's the text of Peter's report:

The 18 industry leaders weren't visiting as private citizens, but the letter from White House counsel Greg Craig treats them that way — just listing their names, not their affiliations.

In fact, they are the presidents and CEOs of virtually all the major for-profit players in health care — the brand-name prescription drug companies ... the health insurance companies ... the American Hospital Association ... American Medical Association ... and others.

The White House released Craig's list of names just before last night's presidential press conference.

The list is inadequate, according to the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The group sued last month for the actual visitor records, which have more details.

Critics say the secrecy is reminiscent of President George W. Bush's White House.

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