Why Didn't Obama Invite Any Health Care Experts to His Health Care Summit?

Update: It looks like the list of participants is considerably longer than Roll Call reported. Sorry to have steered you wrong. Although I still wonder what half the groups on the linked list have to do with health care!

Roll Call reports on the White House’s list of groups it invited to send a representative to today’s health care summit:

The White House delayed releasing a list of the invitees until just before noon on Thursday, causing confusion and frustration throughout the week in the downtown business community.

The list includes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Also expected to attend today’s event are House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)…

Union representatives from the AFL-CIO; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the American Federation of Teachers; the Service Employees International Union, and Change to Win made the cut, while the business community’s interests will be overseen by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Other invitees include representatives from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, General Mills, the Human Rights Campaign, Pfizer, the National Education Association, and AARP.

I can only hope that either the White House released an incomplete list, or that Roll Call screwed up the story. Where’s the American Medical Association? Where are the nurses, the surgeons, the heart association, the Cancer society, the ADA, the Lung Association, the community health care providers, the Catholic Hospitals…?

I don’t mean to suggest that they all needed to be there — at some point you have to draw the line or proceedings become too cumbersome. But the SEIU is there. The AFL-CIO is there. AFSCME is there. Heck, even Planned Parenthood is there! If the White House has room for all of Barack Obama’s loyal stooges, shouldn’t they have room for the people who actually deliver medical care in this country?