But now, senior administration officials are holding private meetings almost daily at the Capitol with senior Democratic staff to discuss ways to include a version of the public plan in the health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring to the Senate floor later this month, according to senior Democratic congressional aides.
Among those regularly in the meetings are Obama’s top health care adviser, Nancy-Ann DeParle, aides to Reid, and Senate finance and health committee staff, both of which developed health care bills.
At the same time, Obama has been reaching out personally to rank-and-file Senate Democrats, telephoning more than a dozen lawmakers in the last week to press the case for action.
Administration officials are also distributing talking points and employing other campaign-style devices to rally support for passing a bill this fall.
The White House initiative, unfolding largely out of public view, follows months in which the president appeared to defer to senior lawmakers on Capitol Hill as they labored to put together gargantuan health care bills.
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