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Small Group Now Leads Closed-Door Reform Negotiations
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington PostSunday, October 18, 2009
Three months before he was elected president, Barack Obama vowed not only to reform health care but also to pass the legislation in an unprecedented way.
"I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table," he said at an appearance in Chester, Va., repeating an assertion he made many times. He said the discussions would be "televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."
But now, as a Senate vote on health-care legislation nears, those negotiations are occurring in a setting that is anything but revolutionary in Washington: Three senators are working on the bill behind closed doors.