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White House refuses to disclose visits by health care executives

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  1. Freedom of Information
In another reminder that the openness promised during campaign season has not become reality, the Obama administration is refusing to…

In another reminder that the openness promised during campaign season has not become reality, the Obama administration is refusing to disclose White House dates with key players in the health care industry, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Secret Service about meetings with 18 executives representing insurance companies, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. The Secret Service said the documents that would reveal the appointments are exempt from disclosure, citing a "presidential communications privilege," according to the Times.

CREW, which has criticized President Obama for continuing Bush-era secrecy policies, said it planned to sue for the records, as it has already done in a similar dispute involving trips to the White House by coal executives.

The Times noted that during his campaign, Obama promised to invite C-SPAN cameras into negotiations for a potential overhaul of the health care system.

In another area, the Obama administration is actually offering less information than Bush did. The Blog of Legal Times reported the White House will not release a list of people who prepared Sonia Sotomayor for her Supreme Court nomination hearing. The Bush administration revealed the names of 38 people who helped Justice Samuel Alito practice, according to the blog.