POLITICS: PennAve

White House denies report claiming Obama, Sebelius rarely met

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White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,Health Care,PennAve,Kathleen Sebelius,Meghashyam Mali

The White House dismissed a report suggesting that President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did not meet ahead of the botched rollout of Obamacare.

Obama press secretary Jay Carney said the claim was based on a “ridiculously false premise.”

“Kathleen Sebelius comes frequently and she meets frequently with the president,” he said. “She’s here a lot and meets with the president with regularity.

“It’s safe to say Secretary Sebelius spent a lot of time here,” he added, noting the administration’s focus on health care reform.

The report from Politico Magazine noted that a Government Accountability Institute analysis of the president’s public schedule showed zero one-on-one meetings between Obama and Sebelius from mid-July 2010 to November 2013. The report showed 277 private meetings with other Cabinet secretaries during that timeframe.

Carney said that past reports based on White House visitor logs had suggested that Obama rarely met with first term Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an assertion that was shown to be false. The press secretary noted that many cabinet meetings were not registered on the visitor logs or schedule.

“With the exception of public calendars, there are standing meetings with the Secretary of Defense that the president has,” Carney cited as an example. “He meets with other cabinet secretaries one-on-one [and] in small groups all the time.”

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