Manchin: I’d Support Delaying Obamacare To Avoid Govt Shutdown

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is followed by reporters as he walks from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, after a meeting on gun control.
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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Thursday that he would support a one-year delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate as part of a short-term government spending bill.

Delaying implementation of one of the key pieces of Obamacare is one of the provisions that congressional Republicans are reportedly considering including in the temporary government spending bill when it comes back from the Senate.

Manchin’s comments, made at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington, D.C., were reported by Bloomberg News.

“There’s no way I could not vote for it. It’s very reasonable and sensible,” Manchin said. “Don’t put the mandate on the American public right now. Give them at least a year. If you know you couldn’t bring the corporate sector, you gave them a year, don’t you think it’d be fair?”

Politico reported Tuesday that House Republicans might attach an amendment, delaying the individual mandate, to the spending bill when it returns from the Senate.

As TPM reported Thursday, House Republican could also demand a one-year delay of the health care law in exchange for passing a debt-limit hike. 

The Obama administration has routinely said that it would veto any legislation that delayed the law’s implementation.

UPDATE, 2:11 p.m. EDT

Manchin elaborated on his position in a Thursday statement.

“I have always opposed the individual mandate, and I continue to have concerns with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the cost and choices West Virginians will have in the health care exchanges,” Manchin said. “That being said, I do not believe that this issue should be used to shut down the government, and I will not vote to shut down the government. We need to work together as Americans to solve these problems so we can get our economy back on track and create American jobs.”

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