RSC Gets Meeting With Sebelius

Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:35pm

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet Wednesday with members of the conservative Republican Study Committee to discuss health care reform.

The meeting comes at the invitation of RSC Chairman Tom Price (Ga.).

“We are pleased to welcome Secretary Sebelius for what we anticipate will be a robust discussion about health reform,— Price said in a statement to Roll Call. “If the President is sincere in his desire to work with Republicans, actually sitting down together is the first step.—

The RSC includes some of the most vehement critics of the Democrats’ heath care reform plans. The RSC-Sebelius meeting is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. in the Capitol.

For months, Price and his staff has asked to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss GOP alternatives to the Democratic reform plans, according to a GOP aide.

The White House contacted the RSC several weeks ago and said Obama was unavailable but that Sebelius could meet with the group, the aide said.

Price said in his statement, “to date— Obama has ignored Republican voices in the debate.

“It’s imperative the administration recognizes and publicly acknowledges that Republicans do have positive solutions for reform,— Price said. “We continue to request that the President open a new dialogue so that we may start over in a positive, cooperative manner to achieve patient-centered health reform.—

Republicans have repeatedly accused the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats of locking them out of the debate on major policy proposals.

“You’ve all heard the president on more than one occasion say that he seeks bipartisanship, that his door is open to Republicans on this important issue,— Price said in a press conference Sept. 17. “As Republicans who seek cooperation on health reform, we can tell you that those pledges have rung hollow.—