Obama to Meet With Senate Leaders After Lunching With Pelosi

Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:09pm

President Barack Obama will huddle with Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and other Democratic leaders at 5 p.m. Thursday to discuss health care reform.The session comes on the heels of a vote Wednesday in the Senate in which 13 Democrats sided with Republicans to defeat legislation to extend $250 billion Medicare payments to doctors over the next 10 years. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did not say whether the White House supports the measure, but he said the president’s budget calls for an extension that is paid for. The Senate version of the “doc fix— does not contain offsets, the primary concern of Senators who defeated the measure on Wednesday.House and Senate leaders are currently trying to finalize their versions of a health care overhaul, with a goal of bringing legislation to the floor within the next couple of weeks. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is leading closed-door negotiations with the White House, Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to blend that chamber’s two versions of health care reform. A major piece of that puzzle is whether to include a public insurance option in the final bill.The president had lunch with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday.With the White House meeting now set for 5 p.m., the Senate’s negotiating session set for 6 p.m. is likely to be canceled, according to Democratic sources.