5305933The White House has rebuffed attempts from House Republicans to schedule meetings with the president to discuss health care, prompting some to write a letter asking for, at least, a group meeting, the Hill newspaper reports.
Mr. Obama has said in public comments that he will always listen to anyone willing to offer productive ideas for health care reform. "My door is always open," he said in his address to a joint session of Congress this month.
A handful of GOP representatives, however, have been unable to meet with Mr. Obama, according to the Hill. On Thursday, Reps. David Roe (Tenn.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Steve Scalise (La.) and Tom Price (Ga.) sent a letter to the president agreeing a group meeting if he is not able to sit down with them all individually, "in an effort to accommmodate (Obama's) schedule."
Roe, who was a practicing medical doctor before joining the House, told the newspaper is experience would be worthwhile for the president to hear about.
"He needs to hear this from someone who has had feet on the ground and seen the problems," he said.
While the president has not met with all Republicans who have requested meetings, he has met with lawmakers likely to significantly shape the debate, such as Republican Senate Finance Committee members Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.).
Mr. Obama even sought to work with moderate Republican Olympia Snowe before he took office, the New York Times reports. As the Times' John Harwood put it, "To achieve his objectives, Ms. Snowe may be the only Republican he needs."
"He's always eliciting my views," said Snowe, who could be vote No. 60 for a final piece of health care legislation. "Wondering, you know, what my concerns are."