Tags: Trump Administration | Barack Obama | Donald Trump | Health Topics | Healthcare Reform | Joe Manchin | repeal and replace

Manchin: I Can't, in 'Good Conscience,' Attend Obama Hill Meeting

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 08:31 AM

President Barack Obama met Wednesday on Capitol Hill with Democratic congressional leaders to discuss keeping Obamacare from being repealed, but Sen. Joe Manchin was not there, even though he wants the Affordable Care Act to remain in place.

"I can't do it in good conscience," the West Virginia Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe," pointing out voters said, when they cast their ballots in November, they "want this place to work."

Obama met with Democrats on Obamacare, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence had similar meetings with Republican leaders, and Manchin said such divisiveness is "really what is wrong with this place."

"I think it's absolutely wrong," said Manchin, while stressing he does back the Affordable Care Act, even though it is flawed.

The senator said he does expect there will be enough votes to repeal Obamacare, but he will not vote for a repeal measure "unless I see something that I think will improve it or make it better."

"Whatever you want to call it, 172,000 West Virginians have healthcare for the first time," Manchin said. "It's not perfect. We have a lot of repairing to do, but you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater [if you] repeal the whole thing."

Pence is governor of Indiana, Manchin continued, a state where Medicaid was suspended, but still he wants to "repeal the whole thing."

"I'm looking to replace, and doing everything we can to make it better, but put something on the table," Manchin said. "I can't believe the Republicans will go down this path and throw it out and say trust us, in two or three years, we will fix it. I've been here six years. We haven't fixed very many things. Anyone who has trust and believes we will fix it are living in fantasyland."

President-elect Donald Trump won West Virginia, said Manchin, but he still believes the voters will want their health insurance.

"A lot of the people didn't know and really still don't know how they got healthcare, whether it's called the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, but I'll assure you one thing, they will know who got rid of it," Manchin said.

The healthcare reform act is important for people with preexisting conditions, the senator said he told his constituents.

"Your wife had breast cancer," Manchin said he told constituents. "You had a heart condition. You couldn't buy insurance before. With the old system we had, you were one illness away from bankruptcy. One illness away from bankruptcy."

There were spending caps, he continued, and when those ran out, people were told, "I'm sorry, you've used up all of your money because you're too sick and you have to die. That is not who we are as Americans."

Manchin said he was not in Washington in 2009 and did not vote for Obamacare, but he would like to see many changes in the plans.

"I think it has to be market-driven and have more products out there to offer," Manchin said. "You can't force somebody to buy a product they don't want and fine them if they don't buy it, and it hasn't worked."

Small businesses should also not have to pay higher deductibles and premiums to subsidize someone else, the Democratic senator said.

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President Barack Obama met Wednesday on Capitol Hill with Democratic congressional leaders to discuss keeping Obamacare from being repealed, but Sen. Joe Manchin was not there, even though he wants the Affordable Care Act to remain in place.
Joe Manchin, repeal and replace, Obamacare, meeting
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2017-31-04
Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 08:31 AM
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