AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday that letting Obamacare fail is as sensible as jumping off of a bridge.
Though the Maine governor did not mention Donald Trump by name, the president has repeatedly said his new plan to replace Obamacare involves first waiting for the law to “explode.”
LePage was a supporter of Trump’s during the presidential campaign.
“Oh, yeah, yeah, so let’s keep hurting the American people,” LePage said. “That’s about as sensible as go jump off a bridge. That makes no sense. If you are 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.”
LePage also ripped into the House Freedom Caucus, the group of hard-line conservatives who opposed the American Health Care Act. He said he hoped they all lost their elections in 2018.
“I am very discouraged with a lot of Republican governors,” LePage said. “Because they sat on the sidelines. I am really, really — I’m probably the most conservative governor in the United States of America. And certainly one of the most conservative. And to have the Freedom Caucus sit on the sidelines and let the Democrats win. Shame on them.
“I honestly hope every single one gets defeated next year. No difference between a Democrat and a Republican if you hide in the closet.”
The Maine governor added that the nation was “heading into a constitutional crisis.”
“The reason it got scrapped I think is a very bad omen for the United States of America,” he said. “I think we’re heading into a constitutional crisis. I think that Congress has not been working now.
“This is about the second time. It didn’t work under Obama and it’s not working under this president. Obviously, we are out to a really bad start. I’m really concerned. I’m really, really concerned that the federal government is broken and I think probably beyond repair.
“This was not a party issue. This wasn’t between the two parties. This was within a party. And I’m really disappointed in the Republican Party. I think they can’t stay together.
“One thing Democrats do is they hang together. They either hang individually or they hang together. We don’t do that. We’re a bunch of solo, independent people and you can’t run a nation with people being mavericks.”
LePage said he would consider setting up a state health insurance system to replace Obamacare in Maine, suggesting he might seek to “withdraw the state and go do our own thing.”
He added he would campaign against politicians who “hid” from repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“What’s the federal government gonna do?” he said. “I mean, they sit and they go hide, they don’t want to do anything so we have to take care of our people.
“The people are No. 1 and if Congress can’t see that, shame on them. And I’ll tell you, I’m gonna get a list of everyone that hid, that didn’t want to show up, and we’re going to have to campaign against these people.”