• Axios first reported that the White House has summoned Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma for a conflict resolution session.
  • One administration official told the outlet that Trump is likely to join himself in a bid to help resolve mounting tensions between them.
  • Azar and Verma have been locked into a bitter dispute, which has thrown a wrench into their working relationship.
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A bitter feud between two of the Trump administration's top health officials may soon require some of President Trump's self-proclaimed dealmaking prowess.

Axios first reported that the White House has summoned Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma for a conflict resolution session. One administration official told the outlet that Trump is likely to join himself in a bid to help resolve mounting tensions between them.

An official also told Axios the meeting would "be an assessment of whether or not both of them are capable of working together like adults." It would be at least the third time that the White House tried jumping in to mediate the feud, Axios reported.

CMS and HHS did not return a request for comment in time for publication.

Azar and Verma have been locked into a bitter dispute which has thrown a wrenchinto their working relationship. Politico reported that the clash has undermined the Trump administration's efforts to roll out a replacement for the Affordable Care Act and other signature healthcare initiatives that could bolster the president's chances for reelection.

At one point, Verma spent six months crafting an alternative to the ACA, popularly known as Obamacare, before Azar killed it believing that it would actually strengthen the law, according to Politico.

The professional relationship further deteriorated over the summer when the HHS brought in outside counsel to investigate allegations of sex discrimination after a personnel dispute between Verma and Azar, Axios reported. It was found to be unsubstantiated, but it underscored the strain weighing on them.

Verma has been criticized in recent weeks for her agency's use of federal dollars to employ pricey contractors as part of a $2.25 million "strategic communications" contract, Politico reported in November. That helped to exacerbate tensions between the two senior health officials.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, though, have told both to find a way to work together, The New York Times reported.

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