John Kennedy

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

J. Scott Applewhite

What could be worse than drinking weed killer?

Well, single-payer health care might fit the bill, if we're to follow the logic of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, who campaigned for office on the novel platform that he'd rather ingest poison than support the Affordable Care Act.

As Republicans in the U.S. Senate scramble to cobble together 50 votes for their rush job of a repeal-and-replace bill, which must pass by next week in order to take advantage of a key procedural loophole, Kennedy emerged as an unlikely skeptic of a measure co-authored by his own state's senior senator, Bill Cassidy.

Unlike colleagues such as Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Kennedy doesn't profess concern over those who would lose coverage. Unlike John McCain, he's not pushing for a return to normal order — you know, committee hearings, witnesses, amendments, all the hallmarks of careful, responsible deliberation, which have been absent from the entire process. Unlike Rand Paul, Kennedy's not citing libertarian principle.

Instead, he claims to have doubts over the law for precisely what Cassidy & Co. cite as one of its key advantages, the ability of individual states to deliver health care as they see fit with the federal dollars they receive through block grants.

Kennedy is complaining that some states might use the bill's federal funding — paltry as it is, particularly for big blue states — to provide government insurance for all. And he says that preventing this is as much a priority as the federalism underlying the proposed law. He's trying to get the bill amended so that it bars such changes.

"I mean look, I don't believe in a single-payer system," Kennedy told Business Insider. "I don't think putting in a guardrail that says you can't have a single-payer system is inconsistent with giving states flexibility. That's our job."

Not that he would vote against the bill should his amendment fail. Kennedy's about as likely to oppose an Obamacare repeal as he is to sit down and wrestle with the implications of the massive changes being proposed.

This is a guy who ran for office not just on the weed killer line, but by declaring that Obamacare "sucks." He pretty much gave up his right to be taken seriously as a policy player right there.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.