June 23rd, 2009
08:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama aides head to the Hill to assess health care reform status

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/02/29/art.capitol.gi.jpg caption="Obama administration officials including Rahm Emanuel and Kathleen Sebelius met privately in the Capitol with Democratic senators Tuesday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Top Obama administration officials met privately in the Capitol with Democratic senators involved in health care reform Tuesday to assess where the complicated legislation stands and what the next steps need to be to pass it.

"We had to have it," said Finance Committe Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, about the meeting, which lasted an hour and a half. "To compare notes with the White House so the president's chief of staff hears our concerns and hears them directly."

Baucus declined to specify the "concerns" presented at the meeting, although the legislation has been slowed by Democratic differences over policy and financing.

The meeting included the president's top aide, Rahm Emanuel and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as well as members from the Senate Finance Committee and Senate HELP Committee. Majority Leader Harry Reid called the meeting to ensure a discussion was held with this group before Congress leaves for the July 4 recess next week, an aide explained.

As he dashed from the Capitol, Emanuel told reporters he would communicate the issues raised in the meeting to President Obama.

Other senators were upbeat about the meeting, saying they are confident a health care bill will pass.

"This was not a crunch time decision-making meeting," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. "It was: here is where HELP is at, here is where Finance is at, here's where the White House is at. And we're singing from the same hymnal."

Filed under: Capitol • Max Baucus • Obama administration • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. well should we allow smoking?

    quitting or not, his discourse about smoking puts it front and center, if he is not going to smoke in front of his wife and children, why does he feel the need to share it with the nation?

    maybe this is a good stage from which to introduce the health care reform? half of us are talking about smoking instead of the mess that the reform will take, I wish the reform luck, because the health care industry is a mess now, it can only get better in terms of cost.

    June 24, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  2. renea

    I just wish everyone thats involved in trying to fix this would just step up and be honest about this. If you are a republican and you are against this because you dont want the president to suceed dont say its to expensive or we cant afford it, If you are a doctor and you feel its goning to cut into your paycheck dont blame it on something else, if you are an insurance agency just be honest and say it may run us out of business so we dont want it. Everyone involved should just be honest even the president also the news media dont talk against it to try to help support your party. We deserve honesty then let the people decide.

    June 24, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |