From Susan Dench, Founder of IWN:

Hello Ladies,

I have been fuming since Sen. Susan Collins' ObamaCare repeal vote, so Cathy has graciously let me have a moment to fume with all of you!
I took Sen. Collins to task last fall when she let her own party down by not endorsing, and in fact being downright hostile to, her party's presidential nominee. (What happened to Ronald Reagan's 11 th Commandment?) I have no personal knowledge of who she voted for in the end, but her latest vote suggests that it was not for Donald Trump, who, in one of the great feats in Maine political history, actually pulled off the what-seemed-impossible and got Maine to cast one of its electoral votes for him, running on the repeal of ObamaCare.
While I don't remember Sen. Collins promising to repeal ObamaCare - a red flag in and of itself and unlike many of her Republican brethren who we can confirm would say absolutely anything to get and stay in power - her outsized role in defeating the Senate's repeal is one more very good reason why she has no business being Maine's next governor.
As Gov. LePage so ably points out in a WSJ editorial, below, Sen. Collins is indeed downright dangerous for the future of our state, refusing to prevent the expansion of medical welfare, Medicaid, in Maine. As a refresher for Sen. Collins, we are one of two states in a demographic death spiral, and with a Maine House controlled by a party and outside interests that have never met a spending bill they didn't love, we are heading to, if are not already in, an economic death spiral as well. We simply cannot afford to go backwards and get ourselves another $750 million in debt - debt which, it must be pointed out, was paid off by the fiscally responsible and disciplined team of Gov. LePage, Maine gubernatorial candidate and former DHHS commissioner Mary Mayhew and U.S. Rep. and former Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin.
I've heard Sen. Collins repeatedly claim that millions of people will be "thrown" off their medical insurance. As Sen. Collins undoubtedly knows, while this is a good soundbite designed to play to the uninformed, that 15 million number actually comes from the CBO predicting that because people will no longer be forced to buy a product (insurance, which is largely sub-par) they don't want, they won't! And in CA today, health insurer Anthem is pulling back from 16 of 19 pricing regions where it offered ObamaCare - because, as it was designed to be, it isn't feasible. (The actual number of people on ObamaCare is more like 8 million, so we are making 64 year old grandfathers pay for maternity care for a small minority.)
Those of you who know me know my political hero is Margaret "this is no time to go wobbly, George" Thatcher. I quote her often because I simply can't say things any better. One of her gems to live by was, "T he problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money." And that's exactly where medical welfare expansion will take the hardworking taxpayers of Maine.
Here's another Thatcherism as it applies, I think, to this situation: "If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing."
Did Sen. Collins vote for ObamaCare (if you don't stand with us, you stand against us) to be liked and showered by public accolades from every lefty progressive outlet and corner, such as being greeted at the Bangor Airport with tumultuous applause (am I the only one wondering if the "spontaneous" outburst was bought and paid for?) and fawning ads ("standing up with her trademark courage" - if that's true she would have remembered the spine we sent ) sponsored by deep pocketed organizations such as Planned Parenthood and AARP who benefit by Medicaid expansion as she toys with the voters on a run for the Blaine House?
Or is she truly that tone deaf to the hardworking taxpayers of Maine, who have repeatedly shouted that they don't want more welfare - in any form - foist on them? (Witness Gov. LePage winning re-election with the largest number of votes ever recorded.)
I have always publicly recognized, respected and appreciated Sen. Collins incredible work ethic and the things she has done over her very long political career for the State of Maine. In this case, however, she has done almost irreparable damage, which will only lead to a further erosion of high earning taxpayers who can afford to move to more economically viable climes. (Remember, the average Maine r pays $1000 - yes, really - in taxes. If a family paying $30,000 in Maine taxes moves, that means we have to replace that 1 family with 30 new ones.)
I have no doubt Sen. Collins loves the State of Maine. But a vote against all the literal and figurative ills of ObamaCare seems like the height of hypocrisy from someone who is exempt from its consequences. 51 Senators, including Sen. Collins and Sen King, had a clear message for we "little people:"
Let them eat cake!

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Maine's Two Senators Let Us Down

By Gov. Paul R. LePage, WSJ editorial, August 2, 2017
When it comes to providing affordable health care to the people of Maine, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are worse than out of touch -- they are downright dangerous. After Maine expanded Medicaid to childless adults in 2002 under then-Gov. King, the program nearly bankrupted our state. But now Ms. Collins and Mr. King are pushing to do it again by refusing to reform ObamaCare and prevent the future expansion of Medicaid.
Sadly, this is no surprise from senators who are more comfortable cutting deals in the polished marble corridors of Washington than meeting with Mainers struggling to make ends meet in Lewiston, Millinocket or Fort Kent. Ms. Collins is a Republican, but last week, unconscionably, she did not support her party's effort to repeal ObamaCare. Mr. King claims to be an independent, but he votes exclusively with liberal Democrats and found preserving ObamaCare to be a no-brainer.
Mr. King also served as an "independent" governor of Maine, and when he departed in  January 2003  he left a $1 billion structural budget gap for the next governor to deal with. After Mr. King's successor was unable to close it, I took office in 2011 vowing to restore fiscal responsibility -- and I did. Washing away the years of red ink meant getting the state's Medicaid spending under control.
When it comes to expanding Medicaid, we have been there and done that. The results 15 years ago were disastrous. The state doubled the size of its Medicaid program, but this failed to reduce the uninsured rate, emergency-room visits or uncompensated care by hospitals. We were saddled with $750 million of Medicaid debt, and I spent my first two years as governor working to repay it.
By reforming Maine's Medicaid and welfare programs, we directed resources toward the truly needy: elderly, disabled and extremely low-income Mainers. The Medicaid expansion now supported by Sens. Collins and King would open the program mostly to able-bodied people without children. These are not Maine's most needy residents; providing them "free" health care is tantamount to giving them another welfare entitlement.
Maine's Public Law 90, a state health-reform plan that I helped implement before it was voided by ObamaCare in 2012, can be a model for the nation. The law aimed to reduce costs by allowing Mainers to purchase health insurance across state lines and created a risk pool to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
Ms. Collins and Mr. King have ignored these ideas, since they are more interested in preening for the cameras than in making real progress. But I've repeatedly advised our congressional leaders about the key components of a successful health-care reform. 
First, any further Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare should be prohibited for the states that have declined it so far. Expansion would cost Maine $400 million to $500 million over the next five years, putting the state back into fiscal crisis.
Second, states should be given flexibility. The block grants outlined in the Senate's original proposal would have moved Medicaid in the right direction, but still not far enough. Each state should have the autonomy to tailor its Medicaid program to suit the needs of its enrollees and taxpayers.
Third, states should be allowed to add work requirements, increase the frequency of eligibility determinations, and reduce retroactive eligibility from 90 days to 30. This would create greater accountability for Medicaid enrollees and ensure that recipients are invested in their own health care.
Given the opportunity last month to replace America's failing health-care system with a more cost-effective plan, Sens. Collins and King instead chose to preserve the status quo while pushing an irresponsible Medicaid expansion here in Maine. Though they seem unwilling to deliver on their promises of better care, at least they have given Mainers a clear sense of their priorities.

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