White House sending cavalry to Senate health meeting

Just as the White House has long said he would, President Barack Obama is going to be weighing in much more heavily than before on healthcare reform now that five committees have passed bills and floor debates are just weeks away.

The big guns are making the trip down Pennsylvania Avenue Wednesday afternoon for the first official meeting between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D- Mont.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the leader negotiator for the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Pretty much everybody but Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be there: The roster of White House players includes Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Director of Legislative Affairs Phil Schiliro and White House-Senate liaison Shawn Maher.