Grassley, Conrad among Sunday healthcare chatter

Healthcare reform will once again dominate the Sunday shows this week, as lawmakers square off on the reform proposals that face Congress when it returns from recess.

Two of the Senate's most influential members on healthcare reform will square off on "Face the Nation": Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Thanks to the farm lobby, the US is stuck with a broken ethanol policy MORE (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a member of the Finance Committee and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

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Conrad has led the effort for a insurance "co-op" plan as a substitute for a public option. Grassley, whose committee shares jurisdiction over healthcare, made headlines recently for suggesting that the Democrats plan might let the government "pull the plug on grandma."

The two senators will be joined by former DNC chairman and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, a doctor himself and a strong proponent of a public plan.

Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Utah governor calls Bannon a 'bigot' after attacks on Romney MORE (R-Utah) and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.), will face off on "Meet the Press". Schumer has played a key role in formulating a public option compromise palatable to Republicans and centrist Democrats. Hatch, like most Republicans, opposes any kind of public plan, though signaled his willingness this week to go "back to the bargaining table."

Chris Wallace will talk to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) on "Fox News Sunday." Ryan, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, is one of the GOP's leading policy wonks. Specter initially opposed a public option, but now says he supports a government-backed plan.

CNN's "State of the Union" will analyze both the violence and recent elections in Afghanistan with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Lt. Gen Karl Eikenberry (Ret.), U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

CNN's coverage of Afghanistan will continue with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report MORE (D-Md.). The Senate trio will also sound off on healthcare reform's prospects in the upper chamber.

George Stephanopoulos will travel to Arizona to speak with Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.), live from the Grand Canyon, on "This Week." Besides the normal healthcare questions, McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, will likely offer his thoughts on the progress in Afghanistan and Iraq.