Watchdog Files Lawsuit, Seeks Injunction for HHS, OMB Health Care Negotiation Record

American Oversight Demands Records Before Congress Moves Forward with Health Care Bill

American Oversight, a non-partisan ethics watchdog group, today filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to force the government to release records of the behind-the-scenes health care negotiations between the Trump administration and Congress.

“Congress is poised to vote on a bill reshaping one fifth of the American economy, and no one knows how much it costs or how it would affect families across the country,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “Over the last few days, the White House and House leaders’ rhetoric has changed by the minute, making it nearly impossible for members of the public to know what’s actually in the bill. The American people deserve to know what the administration is saying to Congress behind closed doors before this bill has a chance to become law.”

American Oversight filed a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today to enforce two requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking records from the U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

American Oversight had requested all communications between Congress and both agencies regarding health care reform. Neither agency responded, so American Oversight is asking the court to intervene.  The FOIA does not allow agencies to withhold correspondence with Congress.

American Oversight has asked the Court to consider its request urgently because Congress is again attempting to take up health care reform and the public should have the benefit of the information American Oversight has been seeking before legislation moves forward.

In addition to the lawsuit, American Oversight is filing several new FOIA requests to ensure that communications from the most recent round of health care negotiations are also released to the public.