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Doctors’ Group Rejects Settlement in Suit Over Health Care Task Force

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A doctors’ group has rejected a proposed settlement in a lawsuit over whether the Clinton Administration’s 1993 federal health care task force must make its records public.

Charles McDowell Jr., president of the doctors’ group, said in a letter filed Monday with U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth that its board of directors voted, 13 to 4, Sunday to reject a settlement proposal.

Terms of the settlement talks have not been disclosed under orders from Lamberth, and McDowell did not give any details.

The doctors’ group is one of three organizations that challenged the health care group’s secrecy. Brown had said that if the case went to trial he might call as witnesses First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and White House adviser Ira Magaziner.

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Mrs. Clinton and Magaziner led the 500-plus member working group’s deliberations that led to the President’s health care plan.

The Assn. of American Physicians and Surgeons, the American Council for Health Care Reform and the National Legal Policy Center are seeking hundreds of thousands of transcripts, drafts, minutes and other documents.

Kent Masterson Brown, attorney for the doctors’ group, has asked to withdraw from the case, the Assn. of American Physicians and Surgeons said in the letter. Brown notified the group Thursday that he would seek to withdraw from the case, McDowell said.


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