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Three months before he was elected president, Barack Obama vowed not only to reform health care but also to pass the legislation in a transparent way, with discussions even being conducted on C-SPAN.
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.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) sits at the head of a wooden table at his office as he and Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) work to merge two competing versions of health-care legislation into one bill. The three men will be joined by top aides as well as by members of President Obama's health-care team, led by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. The sessions started on Wednesday and could be completed this week.
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