Senate Finance Committee members will meet Wednesday with President Barack Obamas choice to implement a massive overhaul of the nations healthcare system, a key first step toward a still-unscheduled confirmation vote.
Several members are scheduled for one-on-one meetings with Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, including committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the panels senior Republican. Committee members are also slated to meet this week with Nancy-Ann DeParle, the presidents pick to lead the newly created White House Office of Health Reform.
The Senate Finance Committee holds the keys to Sebelius confirmation, and Baucus and several Republicans have already signaled support for her nomination. Baucus said he would discuss details of health reform with the governor, but didnt elaborate. When asked if it would be a standard meeting, he said Its past get to know you; weve already met. Its about getting down to work.
Grassleywho earlier had pressed Obamas budget director, Peter Orzsag, about an administrative proposal that could potentially gut the Medicare Advantage programsaid he would discuss how care is delivered in rural communities. I hope to achieve from her an openness on this whole issue of healthcare reform, he said, adding that he seeks ways to ensure a level playing field for the delivery of healthcare for rural America.