July 22nd, 2009
07:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama admin releases list of health care execs to visit WH

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just hours before President Obama is set to promote his health care plan in a primetime address, the White House released a list of 13 health care industry CEOs and lobbyists who have visited the White House since the president took office.

The Obama administration had previously refused to release the names citing "presidential communications privilege."

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had announced Wednesday that it would file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the administration seeking the names of the visitors.

The full list of health care industry visitors is after the jump:

-Billy Tauzin – CEO, Pharma

-Karen Ignagni – CEO, America's Health Insurance Plans

-Richard Umbdenstock – CEO, American Hospital Association

-J. James Rohack, MD – President, American Medical Association

-William C. Weldon – CEO, Johnson & Johnson

-Jeffrey B. Kindler – CEO, Pfizer

-Stephen J. Hemsley – CEO, United Healthcare

-Angela F. Braly – CEO, Wellpoint

-George Halvorson – CEO, Kaiser Permanente

-Jay Gellert – CEO, Healthnet

-Thomas Priselac – President, Cedars Sinai Health Systems

-Richard Clark – CEO, Merck

-Wayne T. Smith – CEO, Community Health Systems

–CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report.

Filed under: Health care • Obama administration
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. David from WI

    A well timed distraction to give the press something to talk about.

    That is something that NEVER happens.

    Not a political trick

    No, They wouldn't do that.

    July 22, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. European-American

    To anyone wishing this government intervention into our healthcare:
    Visit the V.A. with your grandpa or uncle on his next visit-(pack a lunch, maybe a dinner.)
    If you have an HMO go to a specialist before getting a referral, just to see what happens. Now put that system on steroids.
    Still not convinced, find a disabled person and apply for SSI.
    Or go grocery shopping with grandpa and dream of all the good food you can buy, with the money you have put away into the biggest Ponzi scheme in America – Social Security.
    Now I bet you can't wait for the government to decide your medical future.

    July 22, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. multvitamin

    Who is going to pay for the illegal aliens free insurance ?

    They don't talk about taking medicare away from seniors.

    July 22, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. S M R

    All Americans should appreciate all the hard work our President is doing.The haters out there will eat your words big time.

    July 22, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. S M R

    All these over paid ceo's don't want no part of Obama. He will chew them up one side and down the other and take names later. LOL

    July 22, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. RR

    Everything old is new again.

    Lobbyists and CEOs run the show!

    July 22, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. JFC

    I bet every one of them have a great health plan and salaries that are not in touch with the American people. I supported Obama but I now wonder why. Tonight's address a national health plan was not even mentioned. Time for more "inside Washington" of forgetting what his campaign promises were.

    July 22, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. 60's survivor

    everybody wants on the bandwagon nobody wants to listen. Obama will explain again and again and the clamor and noise will continue with ears and eyes closed screaming but we don't understand!!! wah wah wah. all we have to fear us fear itself!!

    July 22, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. elcee

    Are these the ONLY people who have been to the WH? Where are the consumer advocate groups, the single-payer advocates and MORE DOCTORS? How many drug companies does our President need to hear from?

    I don't blame Obama entirely for this – this is a downstream byproduct of the "sausage-making" ("If you love the law and sausage, don't be at the making of either one!") aspect of Washington politics. It is likely necessary for the President to meet with the contributers to various important legislators. But I would have liked to see some better balance.

    July 22, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Good for them. Im glad they pressured the president and Im glad he caved.

    July 22, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  11. Terry, TX

    God help us all.

    July 22, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  12. Mike Dallas

    The shrub refused to allow access to the visitor's book.

    Seems the neo-con think tank was fine with that hidden information.

    I liked the way President Obama answered this stupid question, "you were taking pictures of them, it's not like it was secret".

    Go get 'em! Maybe one day you will realize this man has brain unlike the previous Coward-in-Chief.

    July 22, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    This is a welcome and stark contrast to Cheney's still secret meetings with energy business leaders early in Bush's first term.

    July 22, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. wait, does Cheney know you can do this?

    release the Cheney friends list as well, he is bullet proof, it doesn't matter any more, release it

    July 22, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  15. Greg M

    If it was such a battle to have the White HOuse release this list, can you imagine what they are hiding behind closed doors in this "Transparency" form of governance.

    July 23, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  16. Eugene

    This is what we never found out from Cheney's guest list at Blair House. Get those lobbyists out in the open.

    July 23, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |