From candidate Barack Obama, in 2008::
“I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table,” Obama said. “We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we’ll do is 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 drug companies or the insurance companies.”
From President Barack Obama, in 2009:
In recent weeks, negotiations, particularly in the Senate, have been anything but open. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) have been meeting with top White House aides to draft the bill Reid will bring to the Senate floor. The private talks have been held around Reid’s conference table, and participants have been tight-lipped about the proceedings.
After the first meeting, reporters chased Rahm Emanuel as he walked from Reid’s office to visit Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but the White House chief of staff didn’t disclose any details of what was discussed.
In a press briefing last week, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also said nothing about what’s being decided behind closed doors.