In a private Oval Office meeting with conservative activists Wednesday, President Donald Trump sold Paul Ryan’s health care bill as strong and necessary. But minutes later, his top aides offered some willingness to consider changing some of the core provisions, even as Trump himself suggested a fallback position — that they could try again in two years, and Obamacare will fail on its own, leaving Democrats to take the blame.
In other words, Trump was ready to deal.
The president and his top officials crisscrossed Washington to sell conservatives on a contentious health care plan Wednesday, one day after a rocky rollout and criticism from the right had many questioning the plan’s fate. But the White House team offered seemingly different messages at times, according to sources familiar with the meetings — leaving lawmakers, activists and others convinced the administration wanted to pass the plan quickly for fear of losing momentum but uncertain how many changes, if any, they’d be willing to accept.