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C-SPAN Urges Televised Merger of Dems’ Health Bill

The news that Democrats in the House and Senate will likely marry their health reform bills in closed-door sessions — not in a formal conference committee — strays a long way from President Obama’s campaign-trail claim that the entire process would be televised for the world to see. And the discrepancy hasn’t been lost on the folks at C-SPAN, who sent a letter to Democratic leaders last week requesting that the merger be broadcast.

“President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system,” C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb wrote. “Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.”

Some Democratic leaders are in Washington this week to begin the informal discussions over how to combine the two bills. No word yet whether they’ve responded to Lamb’s request.

Update, 3:09 p.m: The Iowa Independent digs up video from a December 2007 campaign stop in Washington, Iowa, in which Obama pledged that all health care reform negotiations will be televised on C-SPAN.

H/t: The Hill.

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