President Obama made no mention of a government-run insurance plan, abortion or other key issues when he visited Capitol Hill on Sunday to urge a fractious Democratic caucus to pull together to pass landmark health-care legislation. The President talked about the Senate's historic opportunity to provide stability and security for those who have insurance, affordable coverage for those who don't, and bringing down the cost of health care for families, small businesses and the government.
Democrats said they hope Obama's address will lend fresh momentum to what is being called a make-or-break week. Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D., says it's very easy to get wrapped around the axle and forget about the larger significance of what this is about. He added that this affects millions of people's lives and is a big deal.
The Senate reconvened Monday for an eighth day of debate. Abortion and an amendment to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries are early issues to be dealt with. Meanwhile, Senators Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Richard Burr, R-N.C., and David Vitter, R-La., have filed an amendment to the Senate health care bill that would enroll the President, White House staff, all Administration political staff, members of Congress and all congressional staff in the government-run public option. They would also be subject to the proposed reforms.