Like a rug buyer at a Turkish bazaar, Donald Trump has tired of haggling and is walking away, looking over his shoulder to see if the seller is chasing after him, agreeing to his price.
He has confronted Republicans with a choice: Vote for Obamacare or for Trumpcare. He has taken away the middle ground. By saying he will not propose another repeal and replace package, he is forcing Republican House members to grow up and face the consequences of their stubborn perfectionism.
What makes the choice especially drastic is that Obamacare is dying right before our eyes. If it is the only option to provide health care, those who depend on it will find themselves without any protection. Within a few more months, all the health insurers will have pulled out of Obamacare. They know that staying in the program means that they will go broke. They know that the death spiral of fewer enrollees, higher premiums and a sicker, older risk pool will doom the program and its insurers to insolvency.
The Ryan-Trump bill, with its new improvements, is a very good one. The premiums will go down because the required services included in Obamacare will be repealed. People will be able to buy the policies they want. Catastrophic insurance will be available to everyone who wants it. Deductibles will again become reasonable.
And subsidies will be available. The Congressional Budget Office may not realize it but they will not need to be as expensive as they are now because the underlying premiums will not be nearly as high. With fewer things covered, the premiums will drop.
Republican Congressmen cannot consign their constituents to a failing system. Trump has made the choice especially stark. The author of "The Art of the Deal" has made everyone put down their cards. Welcome to President Trump's Washington, everyone.