Democratic leaders still face an uphill battle in selling an emerging healthcare deal to rank-and-fie members, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) said Thursday.

"Right now I firmly believe this is an uphill battle," Courtney told reporters after House Dems huddled for lunch during their jobs conference.

Courtney, who's been one of the leading critics of the Senate bill's excise tax, said there's still a lot of unresolved anxiety within the Blue Dog, Progressive, and other caucuses.

Other lawmakers said that a deal is nearing on the so-called "Cadillac tax" to carve out areas of health deals reached under collective bargaining agreements.

Courtney said that congressional Democrats would still voice concerns over any deal, stressing that such a deal was only between the Obama administration and organized labor.

"This is labor talking to the White House," he said. "My belief is that we'll still have an opportunity to weigh in."