Manchin pitched Trump on reviving bipartisan ObamaCare fix

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump taps Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court, setting up confirmation sprint Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Supreme Court fight pushes Senate toward brink MORE (D-W.Va.) pitched President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT
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 AlexanderPelosi urges early voting to counter GOP's high court gambit: 'There has to be a price to pay' Graham: GOP has votes to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate Democrats introduce legislation to probe politicization of pandemic response Trump health officials grilled over reports of politics in COVID-19 response CDC director pushes back on Caputo claim of 'resistance unit' at agency 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.