Two senators at the forefront of healthcare reform went to great lengths Tuesday to brag about how open and transparent the legislative process has been. Then, they resumed prepping for another closed-door meeting.

Addressing the press Tuesday afternoon, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee patted themselves and each other on the back for writing their healthcare reform bills in public view even as they remained tight-lipped about their private meetings with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and White House officials to merge their bills into a final product.

"I have not been involved in such an open and transparent process as this. I'm very, very proud that we have done it," Baucus said. "it's so important to remind ourselves that no effort that I've been involved in and I don't think anyone else in the Senate's been involved with -- certainly nothing with such significance and magnitude -- has been so open and transparent as this. Totally open and transparent and I'm very proud of it."

When Dodd's turn at the mike came, he jumped right in. "Let me pick up on the point that Sen. Baucus was making," he said. "The suggestion somehow that this is being done otherwise is just blatantly false and a distraction from really we need to be talking about. And that is: what's in these bills?"

That suggestion didn't come from any of the assembled reporters. Instead, Baucus and Dodd were reacting to complaints from Republicans that the healthcare reform bill is being written in secret and that they don't actually know what's going to be in the bill when it hits the Senate floor.

Reid, Baucus, Dodd and the White House have been busy behind closed doors for about a week melding the bills into the final product that the Senate will debate. Unlike during a congressional hearing, there are no cameras in Reid's office. The senators haven't been exactly forthcoming about what they're deciding in there, either.

Not that the main issues in healthcare reform should be a mystery to anyone in the Senate. The two committees held grueling, weeks-long mark-ups on their bills that included debate on literally hundreds of amendments from Democrats and Republicans alike, along with what Baucus described as "countless hearings" on the subject. Baucus and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who chaired the HELP Committee, had also been laying the groundwork for healthcare reform since last year.