Lawmakers to sit down, talk healthcare

House Republicans and Democrats are set to meet behind closed doors Wednesday afternoon for a “conversation” on healthcare.

The eclectic bipartisan gaggle of lawmakers will sit down to find out if they can come to agreement on various aspects of the healthcare reform bill.

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The meeting, called by vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Xavier Beccerra (Calif.), will be the first “leadership-sanctioned” bipartisan session of its kind since the president began his push for healthcare reform.

GOP Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (La.) met with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) several weeks ago and then with top-ranking House Republican John Boehner (Ohio) to get the green light to move forward with discussions.

In addition to Becerra and Boustany, House Democratic Reps. John Yarmuth (Ky.), Allyson Schwartz (Pa.) and Bill Pascrell (N.J.) and House Republican Reps. John Shadegg (Ariz.) and Charlie Dent (Pa.) are among those invited to participate.

Becerra said that he envisions sitting down with those on the other side of the aisle to "be candid, open and not prejudge anything."

Becerra and Boustany's meeting is one of two bipartisan sessions happening Wednesday afternoon.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to meet with members of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC).

Top-ranking RSC members have pressed for a meeting with the president but will talk with Sebelius at this point.

Hoyer and his GOP counterpart, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), intend to sit down on Thursday for a similar meeting.