WASHINGTON (AP) – Showdown day at hand, Republicans remained short of votes Thursday for their health care overhaul and were hoping President Donald Trump would close the deal
with a bloc of conservatives at a White House meeting that could determine the fate of their showpiece legislation. Frenzied last-minute wheeling and dealing was under way on Capitol Hill and in the White House, where Trump summoned the balky conservative House Freedom Caucus to meet with him mid-day, ahead of the planned vote. But concessions being offered to the conservatives, who sought to limit requirements for health plans to offer certain benefits including substance abuse and maternity care, appeared to be scaring off moderate Republicans.

The Republican health care legislation is in limbo Thursday afternoon after multiple meetings at the White House and Capitol have failed to produce a deal. After the meeting started with a standing ovation for Trump, there was little obvious progress.  It is  unclear if a vote will even happen Thursday, as leaders hoped.

Trump is now seeing and feeling first hand what it is like to work with the Freedom Caucus, a top GOP source said, that they are incredibly frustrating because they don’t really want to get to yes — and keep moving the goalposts.  Alabama GOP Rep. Bradley Byrne, emerging from a meeting with top House leaders, blasted the move to continue talks with the hard right in the Freedom Caucus while leaving the bulk of other members in the dark.
“I think the window for making decisions is rapidly closing. We need a vote or go home,” said Byrne, a member of a large group of fiscal conservatives, the Republican Study Committee.

A key element of the negotiations between the Freedom Caucus and the White House revolves around the so-called Essential Health Benefits. The White House is working to possibly include the repeal of Obamacare requirements that certain benefits — such as mental health coverage, drug addiction coverage and maternity

Meanwhile yhr Congressional Budget Office released a fresh analysis of the bill. The revised bill would saves less money than the original with a similar poor outcomes to  the original version.  Even with the worse outcomes Trump’s bill would cut just $150 billion vs,  $337 billion. The new CBO estimates did not include the  additional adverse effects of changes that are currently being discussed in an effort to win over conservatives, such as eliminating portions of the Affordable Care Act that require insurers to sell plans covering a set of basic benefits.


care — be required in insurance plans.   A member who was in the late-night Ryan meeting said tensions were running high. “A lot of people don’t realize what the implications of that are,” the member said of stripping out essential health benefits. “So we’re gonna railroad this thing through and there’s going to be even more people pissed off–our constituents, stakeholders.”

 “We want to make certain that lawmakers understand the policy consequences of voting for a law that keeps Obamacare intact,” Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips said, CNN reported Thursday. “We have a history of following up and holding politicians accountable, but we will also be there to support and thank the champions who stand strong and keep their promise.”Koch-funded groups and their donors plan to spend between $300 million and $400 million on projects related to the next election cycle, the network reported. Lawmakers who vote for the bill will have access to AFP’s resources, but not as much as those who oppose AHAC.


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