Manchin pitched Trump on reviving bipartisan ObamaCare fix

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick MORE (D-W.Va.) pitched President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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 AlexanderDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Congress must move forward on measure dealing with fentanyl GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators seek answers on surprise medical bills | Red states move to limit Medicaid expansion | Two drug companies agree to testify Senate Dems block Sasse measure meant to respond to Virginia bill 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.