The political climate has become so volatile in Washington that working with Congress is becoming an ever-more difficult task, said the head of the National Association of Health Underwriters at a recent conference.

"A lot goes on in Washington that is ugly a part of the time; it's not always what you want it to be. ... [But] it's a particularity hostile environment right now and we were hopeful that would change after the election. It hasn't changed much," said NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein. "We have an inability to get things done in our Congress because they refuse to work together."

It used to be she didn't say such things when giving talks because in the past politicians would work together. Now, "they don't even look at each other walking down the hall," Trautwein said.

What makes it worse, she said, is that it is not just Republican versus Democrat, but fighting within the same party. "There's a huge diversity within the Republican Party from tea party Republican to conservative to not as conservative to the moderates and they are very different. They are almost like different parties so they don't agree on a lot of things."

It extends beyond health issues, but Trautwein said that while many people would like to see the Affordable Care Act repealed "when we ... have the makeup of Congress the way we do, the reality of that is not very high up."

Instead, NAHU intends to work with Congress to repeal provision by provision by attaching those legislative moves to something else. "You almost have to bury it in something to move it along," Trautwein explained.

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