WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) says this year should have been a transition year under the Affordable Care Act.

Instead, people who do not have health insurance will be penalized starting Jan. 1.  “I think it should have gone into effect Oct. 1.  I just don’t think it should have been mandated,” said Manchin.

Enrollment, through the exchanges created in the health care law, started almost three weeks ago.  Since then, the website for it, www.healthcare.gov, has been plagued by problems that government officials are still working to fix.

The effects of the problems were not clear.

So far, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is not releasing information about how many people have applied and qualified for coverage along with the health plans they’re selecting and their health risks.

In West Virginia, the federal government is running the health insurance exchange and only one company, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, is offering four tiers of plans to individuals through it.

Such problems, said Manchin, were not unexpected.  “I knew it wasn’t perfect to begin with, but I said I would work to repair it,” said Manchin.  “If I can’t repair it, I’ll repeal it.”

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  • Independent View

    Senator Manchin is an amazing person! I have never witnessed anyone with such a total grasp of the obvious!


    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) itself empowers states to block the employer mandate, to exempt many of their low- and middle-income taxpayers from the individual mandate, and to reduce federal deficit spending, simply by not establishing a health insurance “exchange.” Supporters of the law do not care for this feature, yet they adopted it because they had no choice. The bill would not have become law without it.
    To date, 34 states, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. population, have refused to create Exchanges. Under the statute, this shields employers in those states from a $2,000 per worker tax that will apply in states that are creating Exchanges (e.g., California, Colorado, New York). Those 34 states have exempted at least 8 million residents from taxes as high as $2,085 on families of four earning as little as $24,000. They have also reduced federal deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars.
    The Obama administration is nevertheless attempting to tax those employers and individuals, contrary to the plain language of the PPACA and congressional intent, and to deny millions of Americans the opportunity to purchase low-cost, high-deductible coverage. Employers, consumers, and even state officials in those 34 states can challenge those illegal taxes in court, as Oklahoma has done. States can also block those illegal taxes—and even stop the federal government from operating an Exchange—by approving a strengthened version of the Health Care Freedom Act.
    The PPACA’s Medicaid expansion, which would cost individual states up to $53 billion over its first 10 years, is now optional for states, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius. Some 16 states have announced they will not expand their programs, while half of the states remain undecided. Yet the Obama administration is trying to coerce states into implementing parts of the expansion that the Court rendered optional. States can replicate Maine’s lawsuit challenging this arbitrary attempt to limit the Court’s ruling.
    Collectively, states can shield all employers and at least 12 million taxpayers from the law’s new taxes, and still reduce federal deficits by $1.7 trillion, simply by refusing to establish Exchanges or expand Medicaid.
    Congress and President Obama have already repealed the third new entitlement program the PPACA created—the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, or CLASS Act—as well as funding for the “co-op” plans meant to serve as an alternative to a “public option.” A critical mass of states exercising their vetoes over Exchanges and the Medicaid expansion can force Congress to reconsider, and hopefully repeal, the rest of this counterproductive law. Real health care reform is impossible until that happens.
    This Came From THE CATO INSTITUTE!!

  • Hillbilly

    That has to be the dumbest statement I have ever heard... and Joe Manchin the sheep followed Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the herd and voted for it before they even knew what was in it. Too late to make such comments now.

    • Oldskool

      Ditto Hillbilly: Dumbest political statement I ever heard but people were even dumber to listen to Pelosi and vote for this monstrosity.

    • Alum

      Actually Byrd voted for it.

      • Wowbagger

        A technicality, Joe would have voted for the "Affordable Care" Act given the chance. You see he will vote any way Harry Reid tells him to vote.

  • Paul

    Its most touted change was the introduction of an entitlement benefit, through tax breaks and subsidies. No its not the Affordable Health Care Act , it was the unfunded federal law of 2003 called the Medicare Modernization Act which the two parties improved greatly after it was passed.

  • John

    Can you believe this man. He is back in West Virginia telling and trying to convince people he wants what they want. YET, he voted no and supported Sen. Harry Reid on everything presented by the more conservative house. If Senator Manchin agrees more with the conservative agenda, there is nothing stopping him from changing the "D" to "I"..Independent!

  • Maynard

    Poor Joe. He makes his decisions by sticking his finger up in the air and sensing which way the wind is blowing. He needs to do what is right by repealing ObamaCare and coming up with a health care plan that represents the best for ALL West Virginians. We deserve a senator who leads with intelligence, conviction and principal rather than one who is not very smart, spineless and makes his decisions based on pressures from an out of touch president and a myriad of polls.

  • Chris

    Then you should have voted against it!

  • wvtd

    another democrat boondoggle to extract tax money from the people who still work and give it to those who spend their lives at the welfare trough.

  • wvman75

    They need to supoena Sebelius and make DHS release the numbers on how many people are actually enrolling in this goatscrew. I think there's a reason they're hiding those figures.

  • C. F. T.

    BloJoe, u suffer from overexposure, your self inflicted pandering to the media, Obama, liberal Senators such as Schumer and calling the NRA liars without backing up your claim, has already cost you the next election.

  • Danny

    Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. so like it or not, it's the law and it is happening. Mr. Manchin, his colleagues, and all of us, really, would be better off thinking about the things we will need to deal with today and in the future, rather than second-guessing ourselves over events which are past and gone.

    • mauldawg

      Danny Typical left wing comment. You need to move in with Joe. He doesn't have to use this goat rope system. I mean after all Joe is so much better then we are. He is a lair just like his boss.

    • John

      Danny, you don't think we should be dealing with this train wreck called, Affordable Health Care. Yes, there are some good parts to the bill, but there are some major, major, major flaws that needs dealt with now. Agree there are thing that needs attention now. Economy, Social Security, Medicare, and a 17 trillion dollar deficit and rising. And, part of the rising deficit will be part of the AHC!!!!! What planet are you on?

    • john

      Like it or not it's a law, that is good advice for Obama, and Holder. They pick which laws to enforce and which ones not to enforce, and change laws to help out their supporters.

    • Joe

      A completely partisan congress voted for ACA. It was upheld by the Supreme Court as a tax, which POTUS then exempted congress and their staffs from. Let me repeat that, they are exempted from paying a legally-passed tax.

      Who do you think is paying for the subsidies that the majority of aca applicants will receive? Uh, that's right, the majority of taxpayers who did not want this law.

      So, no, I for one will not simply move on.

      • Ginnyo

        You nailed it Joe! Now all we have to do is get rid of the ones who voted for it.

  • jimlong

    I agree with every thing that has been posted

  • blugldmn




    I guess he missed when he took a shot at it!

    To make these statements now has to be infuriating for many to hear...


  • joey

    what a joke. sure loves media attention.

  • Joe

    Again, Sen. Manchin, things that should have been brought to the table during the debate prior to your YES votes!