President Obama Urges More Openness in Health Care Debate in Address to Congressional Democrats

For their part, House Democrats appear to have banished health to the dog house, too.

To be fair, the president and the senators discussed many other important issues, like the economy, the budget, jobs, energy and bank regulations. But Obama's inability to publicly engage Congress on health care is another indication that overhaul is too politically toxic to touch right now.

President Barack Obama sought to rally Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday after the loss of a crucial Senate seat, saying it must not weaken their resolve to pass healthcare and financial regulatory reforms.

"We've got to finish the job on healthcare. We've got to finish the job on financial regulatory reform," he told members of the Senate Democratic caucus in Washington, echoing similar comments he has made in the past week.