“If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, it’s a rat.” (Terrell Owens)

For two Presidential elections (Obama-Romney and Clinton-Trump) and four election cycles (2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016) the #1 Republican policy objective was the repeal and replace of Obamacare.

The following US Senators opposed this objective this week and announced opposition to the GOP Senate bill:

Shelley Capito (West Virginia)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Jeff Flake (Arizona)
Dean Heller (Nevada)- Added
Mike Lee (Utah)
Jerry Moran (Kansas)- Added
Rand Paul (Kentucky)

From this day forward, they are Obamacare Republicans, liberal co-conspirators, and deserving of being aggressively opposed in primaries. I support the rumored Trump recruitment of primary opponents.

34 Replies to ““If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, it’s a rat.” (Terrell Owens)”

  1. Thomas

    I vehemently disagree with your characterization of Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Both are strong conservatives and their objections are much different than the others who are nothing but RINOS.

    I couldn’t care less their reason, I care about results, and I’m not letting them of the hook because they are “strong conservatives.” In the end, we got nothing but Obamacare. And, when Obamacare fails, we get single payer and the Democrats take back the Senate, House, and White House. Mike Lee and Susan Collins are the same- Co-conspirators and giving the Democrats what they want. (Troy)

    1. Anonymous

      I agree with Troy and his irrational feelings. That is usually why I disagree with him but on this he is right to be irrational. Paul and Lee are a huge waste of time.

      1. Anonymous

        Let’s see how they vote on the actual repeal of obamacare. Bet Paul and Lee will vote for repeal. That is what I want. Then start over.

        1. KM

          Anon 10:03pm – You are not alone, I actually think we are in the majority. From the way it sounded during Senator Rounds Tele-Townhall, on the 17th, most SDakotans want the same. #repeal.

  2. Emoluments Clause

    You do realize with this strategy, that with what you are advocating, you are helping Trump to take the entire Republican Party into the abyss and perhaps the entire country as well, don’t you?

    Regardless of ones position on health care, this current debacle is of Trumps making and not any single Republican Senator’s, however.

    When you have a President, who during the campaign wants “health insurance for all,” while six months later his HHS Secretary only advocates “access,” or a President who praises the House bill one day with a congressional rally only to then call it a short time later “too mean,” or a President, who has declared health care dead more than once, only to then try to resurrect it with calls for repeal now and replacement later, that such presidential leadership does make the Republicans winners nor the American people. In fact, quite frankly the only ones winning with this current health care debacle, from a conservative perspective, are the bus companies who procure contracts with the government to ship US Senators back and forth between the White House and Capitol Hill to talk about health care…. (Did you know it could be so complicated?…. 😉 )

    A pundit, whose name eludes me right now, said it best on one of the cable news channels lately, when this pundit called health care the “Republican’s Vietnam,” which it is, and I am afraid the advocacy of this blog piece to primary certain Republican Senators in 2018 has all of the makings of a 1968 Democratic National Convention fiasco to be.

    1. Miranda Gohn


      Am I wrong to believe that Obama Care was originally Romney Care? I do not believe this will end well for the Republican Party with President Trump at the helm but I could be wrong. The National Dems may not get their act together to win and lead too.

      Regardless my prayers are for Senator John McCain right now.

      1. Emoluments Clause

        Definitely prayers for Senator McCain.

        As far as ObamaCare and RomneyCare are concerned, OC, or RC actually (pretty much one in the same) started out with the Heritage Foundation back in 1994 as a conservative Republican response to HillaryCare believe it or not.

        This is the same Heritage Foundation, which until just recently, was led by former SC Senator Jim DeMint, who was a leader in the Tea Party movement and its opposition to ObamaCare, which was actually RomneyCare or HeritageCare…. (It’s unbelievable)

    2. jimmy james

      Yes, the President himself called the House measure “mean”. Think of that. Mean.

      The Senate versions will only knock twenty or thirty million off of insurance coverage. Whew. Much better.

      1. Anonymous

        Many of the millions “losing” health care that you bring up will simply now have a choice whether or not to buy, so whining about losing insurance is a non-starter unless you are a Democrat.

  3. Anonymous

    Well the Democrats get to keep Obamacare and all its successes..oh wait…

    Pass it and fix it in conference…

  4. Springer

    I seem to remember Obama bragging that once Obamacare was in place we would never get rid of it, and I fear he was right. Adults age 26 are considered children for insurance reasons, expanded Medicaid for able-bodied, subsidies if you can’t afford insurance, wait to buy insurance till you get sick….what’s not to love? Once the freebies etc were in place, what politician wanting to keep his power is going to risk the wrath of his constituents? Nevermind the lies to get this boondoggle passed. Nevermind that people can’t afford insurance deductibles and premiums. How is the Senate Bill as written going to end Obamacare?

    1. Anonymous

      Shut up, Springer. The republicans control the entire government and can’t get anything done. That’s Obama’s fault as much as it is George Washington’s.

      1. Anonymous

        Who is the derfwad president that signed the steaming pile of crap into law? It was Barry Obama, so he holds a lot of blame along with the Democrats, so live with it.

    2. Anonymous

      This is a different Anonymous than the “shut up” one, Springer.

      I share your concern about this, and I have a suspicion that our own contingent of Thune and Rounds see cover in Collins, Murkowski, and Capito so they can vote to repeal knowing it won’t get done.

      I cannot believe that the people of a rugged state like Alaska would elect that twit Murkowski; I know Maine is pretty liberal, so Collins is a gimme for a state like that.

  5. Liberty Dick

    Mike Lee and Rand Paul are 100% behind repealing Obama care. Capito, Collins, and Flake are not. Try to speak factually at the very least.

  6. Mike D

    PP, Whats unfortunate is that these sens. Are being criticized for not voting for a bad bill. Healthcare should be more bipartisian, because it effects many

  7. Charlie Hoffman

    The foxhole can and does turn atheists into Christians but at the end of the day the Devil is always in the details. Knowing Obamacare has imploded and not doing anything to fix it is no different than laughing at the fire and tanks storming your pit thinking you are above it all or thinking you have the only solution for fixing any problem. The Democrats in Congress and the Oval Office were replaced by Republicans because they laughed at tanks of fire from GOP opposition and thought only their opinion mattered. Troy is 100% correct in thinking that these spoiled aristocrats we call Senators within the GOP who think their personal beliefs matter more than the cumulative health of our country will if allowed return Congress back to the Democrats. The Senate will turn first the House second and POTUS last. Guaranteed.

  8. KM

    What? I’ll agree w/ you about Collins, she likes OBcare and has had no intentions of voting to repeal. I don’t know much about Capito or Flake, but Lee & Paul – you can’t be serious? By calling the GOP Senate bill repeal & replace of OBcare, is a lie. The bill keeps all regulations under OBcare, adding some subsidizes, restructuring Medicaid & getting rid of some taxes. This bill is not a last step & placing blame on Lee and Paul is wrong. We could list many reasons for the cause of the bill failing; the 1st reason that comes to my mind is Republicans have been lying to us about repealing OBcare for years. Senator Mike Lee is a true conservative and there should be more that follow his lead. Mr. Jones, I agree with you more often than not, but this one (Lee & Paul) I just don’t.

  9. Mike D

    PP, Keep the goods parts of existing ACA , then invite the free market to the table to increase competition which ultimately yields lower costs and increases quality of care. I didnt vote for Hillary either. I voted for the only real fiscal conservative on the ballot ;libertarian Gov. Johnson.

  10. Mike

    PP, Keep the goods parts of existing ACA , then invite the free market to the table to increase competition which ultimately yields lower costs and increases quality of care. I didnt vote for Hillary either. I voted for the only real fiscal conservative on the ballot ;libertarian Gov. Johnson.

  11. jimmy james

    Troy says, “I support the rumored Trump recruitment of primary opponents.”

    That should read “I support the rumored recruitment of Trump primary opponents.”

    You are this upset about Senators refusing to throw twenty million poor and dependent people off of insurance to make way for a tax cut? I suppose you think that the poor can afford medical expenses that even the middle class cannot pay any more. Maybe Republicans should propose allowing hospitals to refuse care to the poor in the emergency room too? That might lower rates for the rest of us. We can call it “freedom” or “access” if that makes us feel better.

    But no outrage when Trump suggests yesterday (NY Times interview) that Mueller better not try to look into his finances. That would be crossing a red line. (Even though he promised to release this information during the campaign.) AND he also said that he would not have nominated A.G. Sessions if he thought he’d recuse himself from an investigation into the Presidential campaign. A campaign that Sessions himself was involved in??

    The rule of law. That was a nice concept…. when it was convenient.

    Yes, there needs to be primary opposition alright.

    Jimmy, when there are no longer anyone selling Obamacare, those 20mm will be uninsured anyway. More significantly, because of the Cruz amendment, we would have had actually have more young people procuring insurance which not only has short-term benefits (more in the system and less uninsured) it has bigger long-term benefits because of a more actuarially sound system. Lee, Paul, Collins, Flake, Caputo et. al. need to be primaried. (Troy)

  12. Troy Jones Post author


    Here is the math and reality- Obamacare remains the law of the land unless:

    1) All but one GOP Senator votes for current plan (now assuming McCain is not available).

    2) The plan is amended (moved to the left) to attract Democrats.

    Current Republicans not on board:

    Capito (WV)
    Collins (ME)
    Heller (NV)
    Lee (UT)
    Moran (KS)
    Paul (KT)

    Option #1- (Best Case scenario)- If Lee, Moran and Paul come around, the pressure on Heller and Capito might be enough for them to come around.

    Option #2- (Better than keeping Obamacare)- If Lee, Moran and Paul don’t come around, Bill is amended to bring around Collins, Capito, Heller, and two Democrats. It will likely include more Medicaid spending but we’ll get the Cruz amendment and begin the process of unweaving Obamacare.

    Option #3- Both the above fail and Obamacare stays.

    Pick your poison. There are no other options no matter how hard one wishes it were so.

    Obamacare is the law of the land, we live in a Republican Democracy, and there isn’t the votes for anything more.

    PS: Anyone who says Lee, Moran, and Paul are conservatives are grossly inaccurate. Because of their actions which equate to keeping Obamacare in place as is, without change, we don’t get the following that is in the current bill: Reform of Medicaid and saving of $772 Billion dollars.

    1. ADG

      First of all Obama Care will fail at some point, it cannot be sustained. The massive subsidies cannot be held up by this monstosity. This new bill opens up a few options to public but the premiums will never be lowered under this piece of legislation. We will continue down this path until it is unsustainable and the next thing you know—single payer. At which point our American way of life will be forever changed. Imagine giving 60 plus percent of your paycheck to the government. I am disappointed in Cruz for succoming to this new plan when it is still 90% Obama Care. Not sure how anyone can support this. Mike Lee and Rand Paul are the only true conservatives against this bill, and the rest are more left leaning than Chuck Schumer in my opinion. The only difference betwen Chuck Schummer and the other 4 knucklehead repubicans is that he is honest about being a socialist.

  13. Lets be honest

    Unless they include provisions to deal with the actual cost of health care all of this bantering about obamacare and its repeal and replace won’t mean a thing. The driver in the cost of your health insurance IS the cost of the care its paying for. So far the doc’s and hospitals have not had their feet held to the fire. More specifically the hospitals because they own most of the docs. Competition is a great thing but it can only go so far. Plain and simple its expensive to be sick with or without insurance!!!

    I agree with your larger point (need cost containment strategies) and disagree with the smaller point (repeal and replace won’t mean a thing). The current situation (Obamacare/Medicare/Medicaid) has insufficient dynamic cost containment incentives. All cost containment are the result of negotiations of payer with the payee. The user is not involved in anyway. The bill sabotaged by the Obamacare Republicans includes:

    1) Reduction in what is deemed “essential benefits” which allows consumers to pick plans closer to their needs.
    2) Expanded use of Heath Savings Accounts and greater flexibility on deductibles/copays.

    Those two items alone incentives the user to minimize use of the system and search for better prices. There are others.

    But, you make a legitimate point often ignored- We need cost containment bad. (Troy)

  14. The lowly independent

    Take down Paul? You do realize the Kentucky Militia is backing him. You might want to suit up…

  15. Troy Jones Post author


    You are right- Obamacare will fail and we will end up with single payer.

    Your statement this is 90% Obamacare is seriously misinformed. Medicaid reform, essential benefits are virtually eliminated, reduced taxes, and elimination of the mandate.

    These reforms that were defeated was and still is our best chance to avoid a single payer because it moved reform in the right direction. Not perfect and greatly improved by the Cruz amendment but a step in the right direction.

    Lee, Paul, Moran, et. al. are Obamacare Republicans. Or maybe they should be called Single Payer Republicans. Or how about Quisling Republicans.

    They are a joke and nothing but Democrat collaborators. It isn’t words that matter. It is the results of your actions and their actions are going to lead us to Single Payer.

    1. ADG


      First of all I would not put Lee and Paul in the likes of Moran. Second, I’m not always a fan favorite of Paul but he is against this new bill because he realizes these massive hand outs will be the death of this health care system. So to call him, and Lee for that matter, Obama Care republicans would be like calling Pelosi a Reaganite. As far as the 90% comment, it is completely true. You mention Medicaid reform, in my opinion there is none. Do you think the whole health care system should be based on what Medicaid does? Medicaid is basically a welfare program and once Obamacare lowered the standard of who can apply, people who twice the poverty level were allowed to partake. It is a massive redistribution of wealth, and the middle class are the ones who will suffer. You can eliminate the essential benefits, eliminate the mandates, reduce taxes, but we are still spending trillions and trillions on the Medicaid portion. If this goes through it will fail like Obamacare and then the Repulicans will be the ones at fault. So the bottom line with this new plan is “If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, it is a rat”.

  16. Springer

    Maybe it is insurance itself that is raising costs. I had to buy a nebulizer. If I submitted it thru insurance it would have cost over $200, but I knew that I could buy it at a drug store for $40, so I opted to just buy it vs taking a chance that insurance wouldn’t cover it. Same thing with hubby’s acupuncture; the cost was one third less if we just paid cash.

  17. Troy Jones Post author


    Over the weekend, Ted Cruz called Lee, Paul, et. al. out for the Obamacare Republicans they are.

    If you don’t think cutting $772 from Medicaid isn’t reform, what do you call it? It’s real money to me.