You are in a negotiation and you are offered X. You really want both X and Y but you have just been given the option to take X now and then continue negotiating for Y.

In this story you are the House of Representatives, X is repeal of the mandate and Y is rollback of Medicaid. You have been offered X in the form of the “skinny repeal”

Will you take X? That is, will the House just pass the skinny bill as Lindsey Graham and John McCain worry they might?

Well, its quite likely they will not. But this shouldn’t make the Senators any less worried. Because the House always has the *option* of passing the skinny bill, whatever they do finally agree to in the conference committee will have to be at least as good for the House majority as what they could take immediately.

In other words X+Y, which by the way if you do the math equals BRCA which Senate Republicans already rejected.