By Jonathan Easley - 11/19/13 12:23 PM EST
Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinEpiPen maker defends price hike: ‘I’m running a business’ Senator responds to criticism of daughter's EpiPen company The Hill's 12:30 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 HaganClinton's lead in NC elevates Senate race Democratic National Convention event calendar 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 MORE (D-N.C.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySanders, Merkley back McConnell decision to skip TPP vote GOP senator: Anti-fossil fuel candidates ‘not fit’ for federal office Dem anxiety hangs over Clinton MORE (D-Ore.), Mark UdallMark UdallColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Energy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Colo.) and Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive reasons the Trump campaign is in deep trouble Louisiana gov: Trump helped 'shine a spotlight' on flood recovery Giuliani: Trump 'more presidential' than Obama in Louisiana visit 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.