Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III is making clear he would oppose an immediate repeal of Obamacare.
"I have never supported repealing the Affordable Care Act because I came to Washington to find solutions to our country's problems," the West Virginia senator said Friday. "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."
The Beckley Register-Herald in West Virginia had reported Manchin as saying: "I will vote tomorrow to repeal (the ACA), but I want to fix the problems in it," but his Friday statement refutes that.
Conservatives had been quick to seize on the Manchin quote as reported by the West Virginia newspaper.
Manchin has a long track record of supporting rolling back some provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but not the entire law. To that point, Manchin's newest comments came in a statement issued Friday that also reiterated concerns with the law, including opposition to the individual mandate to buy health insurance.
"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. 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. We should be working together to identify which parts of the law are broken and need to be fixed," said Manchin. "We may learn that some parts of the law can't be repaired, and we should eliminate those parts entirely."