Negotiations Kick Off in Reid’s Office This Afternoon

Posted October 14, 2009 at 9:52am

Updated: 11:44 a.m.Negotiations to merge two competing Senate health care reform bills are set to kick off Wednesday afternoon in Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office.The session, scheduled to begin at 2:30, will include Reid, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who led the markup of the bill passed in July by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.Also attending from the White House will be White House health care chief Nancy-Ann DeParle, OMB Director Peter Orszag, White House Legislative Affairs Director Phil Schiliro and Schiliro’s deputy for the Senate, Shawn Maher. Decisions on the major differences between the two bills, including whether to go with the public insurance option included in the HELP legislation or the nonprofit medical cooperatives offered by Finance, are not expected to be discussed in detail during Wednesday’s talks. Rather, the principals are likely to focus on determining the ground rules for the negotiations.