Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinCongress needs to gird the country for climate crisis Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Poll from liberal group shows more voters in key states back .5T bill MORE (D-W.Va.) pitched President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump 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.”
Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBuilding strong public health capacity across the US Texas abortion law creates 2022 headache for GOP Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending 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.