Trump tries to close health care deal with GOP skeptics

Evan Vucci, Associated Press

Members of the House Freedom Caucus Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., left, and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., arrive at the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2017.

WASHINGTON — Showdown day at hand, Republicans remained short of votes Thursday for their showcase health care overhaul, hoping for President Donald Trump to close the deal with balky conservatives at a White House meeting.

Frenzied last-minute wheeling and dealing was underway at the Capitol, too, but if anything the number of dissidents seemed to be growing. Signaling that more work was needed, GOP leaders postponed a planned morning meeting of rank-and-file lawmakers, and House Speaker Paul Ryan delayed a scheduled news briefing.

Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state became the latest to declare her opposition. Concessions being offered to the conservatives — they want to limit requirements that health plans offer benefits including maternity and substance abuse care — appeared to be scaring off moderate Republicans.

The House Freedom Caucus, whose conservative members comprise the bulk of GOP opponents, met at midday with Trump. A Trump aide tweeted a picture of caucus members giving the president a…

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