Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGreens launch ads against two GOP senators for Pruitt votes Poll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (D-W.V.) criticized the Obama administration on Tuesday for “royally” botching the healthcare rollout. [WATCH VIDEO]
Manchin is one among a group of red state Democrats who have been vocally critical of the administration's handling of the federal healthcare site.
The West Virginia Democrat doesn’t face reelection until 2016, but many of his colleagues running in 2014 — including Sens. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.), Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock MORE (D-N.C.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyPoll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick MORE (D-Ore.), Mark UdallMark UdallElection autopsy: Latinos favored Clinton more than exit polls showed Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State The rise and possible fall of the ‘Card’ in politics MORE (D-Colo.) and Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (D-La.) — have sought to separate themselves from the rollout.
Still, Manchin said the spirit of the law was sound and urged his colleagues to rally around a fix.
“I sure don’t want to go back to what we had before,” he said. “One serious or catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy, a child with a defect couldn’t get on their parents's [insurance] – or someone with a preexisting condition couldn’t get insured, or someone who was too sick said their only option was to die, I guess.”
“That’s not who we are as Americans,” he said. “This thing is messed up – can we fix this? Absolutely, if we work together. But my goodness it seems like everyone is working against each other right now.”
Manchin is a co-sponsor of a Landrieu bill intended to keep President Obama’s promise that if you like your healthcare you can keep it.
The Landrieu-Manchin bill would require insurance companies to continue offering limited plans, even if they don’t meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act, for as long as consumers continue to pay the premiums.