Manchin pitched Trump on reviving bipartisan ObamaCare fix

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-W.Va.) pitched President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE on reviving a bipartisan fix to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when the two had lunch on Monday.

I said he's the one who can make a difference,” Manchin told reporters on Wednesday, describing his message on health care in his meeting with the president. “We already have a bipartisan agreement. If he signs onto it, it would be great.”

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Health care was just one of a range of topics Manchin and Trump discussed. Manchin said Wednesday that he wants to refer the bipartisan fix of ObamaCare as “Trump repair-care.”

Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderFinding a path forward to end surprise medical billing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Republicans make U-turn on health care MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayFinding a path forward to end surprise medical billing Trump's new labor chief alarms Democrats, unions Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders mounts staunch defense of 'Medicare for All' | Biden, Sanders fight over health care heats up | House votes to repeal ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' | Dems want details on fetal tissue research ban MORE (D-Wash.) last year reached a bipartisan agreement aimed at reducing ACA premiums and stabilizing the market, but the deal eventually fell apart amid a dispute over restrictions on funding going to abortions.

Manchin, a moderate Democrat who just won reelection in a state that Trump carried by a wide margin in 2016, is now looking to revive the deal, noting that Trump’s backing would be key.

Manchin did not describe in detail what Trump’s reaction was, beyond saying, “I think he's going to look at it; I hope he does.”

Trump has previously sent mixed messages on the agreement. In October 2017 he tweeted the deal would mean “bailing out” insurance companies, but Trump later gave the agreement his support.

But the measure did not end up making it into a massive government funding bill in March of this year amid the dispute over abortion.

There is still no resolution to the question of whether to include abortion restrictions on new funding to stabilize ObamaCare, making the path forward for a deal difficult.

Murray last week also called for trying again for a deal. Alexander indicated last week in response that he was skeptical but willing to try.

The ground has also shifted since last year, meaning Democrats would likely have different requests for a deal, including undoing Trump administration actions to allow cheaper, skimpier insurance plans. It would be hard for Republicans to support undoing Trump’s actions.