Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinTrump meets with Dem senator amid Cabinet speculation Overnight Energy: Walden wins Energy gavel | Trump looks at Dems to head Energy, Interior Trump considering Dem senator for Energy secretary: report 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 HaganGOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (D-N.C.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDem senator to Trump: 'You have no mandate' GOP senators wary of nuking filibuster Dem senators charge: Trump not draining the swamp MORE (D-Ore.), Mark UdallMark UdallGardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open 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.