Edward Kennedy's wife or nephew would be instant front-runners in any bid to replace him in the US Senate.
Latest effort to lower the federal price tag taps companies that don't offer health insurance to employees. They would pay an annual fee.
Even Democratic senators are still far apart on what a 'public option' would look like.
Dire pronouncements aside, the process is just getting started, with legislation at a formative stage and Obama yet to offer his plan.
Lawmakers have a lot on their plates, plus they're still smarting from earlier bailouts.
Democrat Tom Daschle and Republicans Bob Dole and Howard Baker put forth an alternative proposal Wednesday.
Senator Chris Dodd, among other senators involved in upcoming health care legislation, have family ties or financial investments in the industry they are meant to reform.
Lawmakers have been getting an earful from disgruntled consumers.
Targets include credit card companies, payday loans with exorbitant interest rates, and predatory mortgage lenders.