Maine’s Republican governor said Tuesday that those who suggest Republicans should let Obamacare fail before offering a replacement bill may as well “jump off a bridge.”
Gov. Paul LePage (R) never mentioned President Donald Trump by name, but the President has forcefully made the argument that letting Obamacare fail would be to Republicans’ political advantage.
“If the ACA is unsustainable, as some fear, I’ve heard some politicians say, that are Republicans, ‘Let it fail, and let the Democrats own it,” WVOM’s Ric Tyler told the governor during an interview.
“Oh yeah, yeah, so let’s keep hurting the American people,” LePage responded. “That’s about as sensible as ‘Go jump off a bridge.’ That makes no sense. You’re telling people, ‘Let it fail so the American people can get hurt more and when they get hurt more maybe we’ll do something.’ Why don’t you go jump off a bridge? That’s just about as sensible.”
After Republicans’ bill to replace Obamacare failed Friday, Trump remarked to reporters: “I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because now they own Obamacare. They own it, 100 percent own it.”
And he has frequently said of Obamacare, as he did at the Conservative Political Action Conference, that “from a purely political standpoint, the single best thing we can do is nothing. Let it implode completely.”
LePage said Tuesday that he was considering advocating for a new, state-wide private health exchange in Maine, because “[t]he federal government obviously is broken so they are not going to stand in the way. They can’t get anything done.”
He compared his idea to Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company, signed into existence in 1993 by Gov. John McKernan (R) as a private workers compensation insurance system.