Manchin says “no” to repeal of ACA
Senator Joe Manchin weighed in on the potential Affordable Care Act repeal process happening in Congress currently.
“I’m not going to throw 170,000 West Virginians, another 40,000 people on the exchange, and many thousands of seniors out in the cold. I’m just not going to do it,” said Manchin via conference call.
Republicans are using budget resolutions which contain reconciliation instructions, directing the dismantling of Obamacare as part of reconciling taxes and spending.
The budget process needs a simple majority to pass, which the Republicans have, thereby allowing them to act without any Democrat approval. A Senate vote could come as early as next week, with the House following suit some time after.
House Speaker, Paul Ryan has praised the measure in a statement saying, “This is the first step toward relief for Americans struggling under Obamacare. This resolution sets the stage for repeal followed by a stable transition to a better health care system. Our goal is to ensure that patients will be in control of their health care and have greater access to quality, affordable coverage. Today we begin to deliver on our promise to the American people.”
However, Manchin is skeptical. “I’m not going to vote for a repeal unless I see a replacement or repair. I am willing to repair. I’ve seen a lot of things floating around out there that could repair some of the costs–like to people in their own private businesses. We’re willing to work through all those things.”
While Obamacare could be nixed with relative ease, implementing a replacement could take years, according to Manchin.
“Some people are saying, ‘Don’t worry. We’re going to repeal it, then fix it in 2 or 3 years’. I’ve been working that long on just getting the minors their healthcare and still can’t get a permanent fix,” said Manchin. “What makes anyone believe that we can come back and fix it with 60 votes (the minimum amount needed to pass new legislation) and they can get rid of it with 51? If you’re willing to fix it in 2-3 years, you’ve been talking about for 6 years, why don’t we sit down and fix it and vote on each one of the fixes? That way, nobody loses anything.”
Manchin continued, “That’s the hard part. That’s why I did not go today. I think it’s wrong. They’re (the Republicans) are about to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”