Democrats Focus on G.O.P. Senators From Maine.

The New York Times is reporting today that Obama administration officials and their Congressional allies are stepping up overtures to select Senate Republicans in hopes of winning their ultimate support for the healthcare reform bill.

Sen. Harry Reid

Sen. Harry Reid

The two moderate Republican senators from Maine, Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, both say Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, reached out to them after he unveiled the Senate measure, encouraging them to bring forward their ideas and concerns.

The Times reports that both senators have been talking privately with Democrats and independents about devising joint amendments in such areas as cost control, and both said they would continue to look for compromises.

“I’m prepared to continue to work to improve the legislation,” said Ms. Snowe, who said how her proposals are handled will “be a true test of whether there is a will to improve this legislation in a non-ideological, bipartisan manner.”

While the two women are the main focus of Democrats at the moment, officials said they will be weighing opportunities to appeal to others. They also hope that any final joint House-Senate proposal could attract at least a few Republicans in each chamber.

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