Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) clarified Friday that he “never supported repealing” Obamacare after a local news outlet reported he said he would “vote tomorrow” to roll back the health care law. the Huffington Post reported.
“I will vote tomorrow to repeal (the ACA), but I want to fix the problems in it,” the Beckley Register-Herald quoted Manchin telling an audience.
“We cannot go back to the days when millions of Americans were uninsured and nearly twenty percent of our GDP was spent on healthcare, while only being ranked 43rd in the world in health and wellness outcomes,” Manchin said in a statement to the Huffington Post. “The Affordable Care Act does some things well, like expanding access to preventative care, providing access to those with pre-existing conditions, and closing the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole, but the law has many flaws.”
According to the Huffington Post, Manchin’s office didn’t dispute the local outlet’s quote as inaccurate, although his full statement dispelled the possibility that he would actually vote to repeal the law.
“That is why I have supported legislation to delay the individual mandate penalty for a year, define a full-time work-week at forty hours instead of thirty, grandfather in existing plans that Americans are happy with, repeal the burdensome 1099 requirements on small businesses and fix a technical error that unduly harmed volunteer firefighters,” the statement continued, as quoted by the Huffington Post. “We should be working together to identify which parts of the law are broken and need to be fixed. We may learn that some parts of the law can’t be repaired, and we should eliminate those parts entirely. I wasn’t here when this bill passed, and the easiest thing I could do as a Senator is to vote no on everything, but the people of West Virginia sent me here to solve problems, and I will continue to work to solve the problems in the health care bill.”
Manchin had previously worked toward delaying the health care law’s individual mandate, but called that proposal “strictly a transition.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.