President Stepping Up Reform Meetings With Congressional Democrats
President Obama has intensified his participation in the effort to pass health reform legislation by meeting with congressional Democrats to rally their support on the issue, CQ Today reports.
Obama has held several one-on-one meetings with Democratic senators who are hesitant to support the party's overhaul legislation.
Obama has met with Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark), who is concerned that Senate reform legislation would expand government influence and expose taxpayers to financial risk, and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who has expressed displeasure regarding the inclusion of a government-run public health insurance plan option in the chamber's bill.
Nelson said that during his meeting with Obama, the president was honest and direct and did not use pressure tactics.
In addition, Obama has met with Senate Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), with whom he discussed the budget deficit and the impact of proposed reform legislation (Ota, CQ Today, 11/4).
Last week, Obama convened a meeting on reform with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
More Meetings Scheduled
Obama is will continue to push for reform legislation, through several meetings scheduled in upcoming days.
On Thursday, the president is expected to meet with representatives of CHC, including Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.).
According to Roll Call, although White House officials have refused to indicate the topic of the session, it likely will center on overhaul legislation (Koffler , Roll Call, 11/4).
In addition, congressional officials said that Obama on Friday intends to visit the Capitol to meet with House Democrats. The House is scheduled to vote on its reform bill (HR 3962) on Saturday (Espo, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 11/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.