Two of Gov. Mitt Romney's top health care policy advisers met with House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss the Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on President Barack Obama's health care reform law.
Romney campaign advisers Tevi Troy and Matt Hoffmann met with at least two groups of House Republicans on Tuesday, according to people who attended the meetings. Troy is a former deputy secretary at HHS and Hoffmann previously worked for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
The advisers released few details about how the campaign will respond to the ruling. In particular, they did not discuss many details of the response if the court strikes the ban on insurance companies denying customers coverage because of pre-existing conditions, according to people in the meetings.
It's that popular provision that has many Republicans nervous. If the court strikes that piece, Democrats are likely to try to drum up public pressure on Republicans to reinstate it in some way.
"It was really just a general discussion about waiting until this decision comes down so you'll know what to talk about," said Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who attended one of the meetings with members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus.
Roe said that Troy led the discussion, which focused on "general principles" of how Republicans want to fix the U.S. health care system.
Details after the meetings, however, were scarce.
"Basically, it was the Doctors Caucus — from our perspective — giving Team Romney some bullet points that we think are important and to help them coordinate their message with [the Caucus] and the House Republicans," said Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.). "Nothing is set in stone until we see what the Supreme Court does."
The Romney advisers made clear they favored a step-by-step approach if the court strikes the whole law and did not support enacting something as expansive as the Democrats' health care law.
Romney has said repeatedly that he supports repealing whatever pieces of the law that the court leaves in place.
"Depending on the Supreme Court decision, what are the important things going forward that we need to make sure American citizens have," Bucshon said, describing some of the talking points Republicans are now tackling. "From the Doctors Caucus perspective, we think it should be patient centered, focusing on access and quality for the patients."
Former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt met with members of the Republican Study Committee late Monday also to broadly discuss health reform, according to the Washington Post.