WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin joined a group of five Democratic senators and one independent who are proposing a list repairs to the Affordable Care Act.

“We have to fix it, repair it. We’ve got to have insurance and we’ve got to have people healthier, but they have to be responsible (changes) too,” Manchin said on Thursday’s “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” on Fox News.

“We can’t force products into the market where the market is not going to accept them.”

Those making the proposals with Manchin (D-W.Va.) are senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine).

“We’ve had some moderate, reasonable people who have sat down and we think we have an a lot of our Republican colleagues that will join us on this and these responsible changes,” said Manchin.

The proposals include:

— A bill to restore startup funds for new consumer-driven health insurance cooperatives, like those already operating in 23 states.

— Allowing state insurance regulators to develop models for selling health insurance across state lines.

— Providing a new lower-cost, high-deductible option called the Copper Plan to add to the existing Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze plans in the federal exchanges. The Copper Plan would still meet the ACA’s coverage requirements.

— Extending the Small Business Health Care Tax Credits and expand those credits to include businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The current cap is 25 employees.

— Expanding the option for voluntary coverage to employers with fewer than 100 employees.

— Streamlining and simplifying reporting requirements for healthcare coverage.

— A bill that would let family members working for the same business, on the same employer health plan, count as one full-time equivalent employee.

— Permanently allowing people to enroll for healthcare coverage through insurers or other certified web-based entities and not just healthcare.gov.

— Opening access to agents and brokers to assist with enrollment in healthcare plans on the ACA exchanges.

It was not immediately clear if U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would bring any or all of the proposals to the Senate floor. White House support for such changes is also questionable.

“I would hope they would look at the reasonable changes we’re trying to make that fits the American public,” said Manchin. “People do want health care, but they want affordable health care. They’d like to keep what they have.  They’d like to be able to stay healthy, like to be able to have incentives and rewards.”

As of Thursday afternoon, federal officials said six million people had enrolled for healthcare coverage through the exchanges.

Monday is the deadline for enrollment, an ACA mandate, through www.healthcare.gov. Those who begin the enrollment process by March 31 will have additional time to complete that process because of a recently announced extension.

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  • George

    Be aware------still these Dems side with OBama--remember they voted for it in the first place-----just running scared because they know how this nation has deteriorated under this administration-------enough said

  • joey

    hey joe repeal or defund it, or get ready to pay the price.

  • Shadow

    Joe has a hard time keeping his foot out of his mouth. Unfortunately for him, his true colors come out. None of the other Demos supported it, only those up for reelection.

    • billyed

      Joe, What about the public option?
      Make these insurance giants play fair.

  • Vinnypin FL

    Sorry Manchin, Landreaux from La and all the other leftists who voted for this...you're gonna have to answer for those "yes" votes...
    Hard for me to believe a scam this big being perpetrated on the American public...what a complete and total disaster this is...we told you so...

    • Vinnypin FL

      really tho I blame Justice Roberts as much as the "perfect storm" makeup of Congress in place at that time...the ACA is as unconstitutional as the day is long...how anyone would vote "D" for anything above dog catcher after this monstrosity is beyond me...

      • Aaron

        If a bill provides for all citizens equally and does not reward one group over another, how does that not meet the general Welfare Clause of the Constitution?

        I'm not so sure this bill fits perfectly in that criteria but unlike welfare or social security, it does actually meet the guidelines of the general Welfare clause.

        I don't suppose you could detail on what grounds it is unconstitutional, could you?

        • vinnypin FL


        • vinnypin FL

          see dissent of Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, Thomas in ruling for this information...

          • Aaron

            I read the dissent and while I agree with their opinion, that is not what I ask.

            To be simple, I'll ask you this. Do you envision a system in which health care is constitutional?

  • Independent View

    Do some research and you will find that House Republicans have passed 44 changes to Obamacare, but Harry Reid would not let any of the 44 be voted on in the Senate.
    Whoa! isn't this the same Joe Manchin that supported Obamacare when it passed Congress. We did not hear these calls for changes then. Oh, now I get it, it's election time.

    • Aaron

      What changes have Republicans passed in the House only to have shot down in the Senate? I researched the topic and I found nothing beyond repeal measures. Perhaps you can direct me in the right direction and I'll find these changes proposed by Republicans.

  • Matt

    6 millions signed up. 6 million people without insurance that will now live healthier lives. Many more millions to come. A generation from now, people will be screaming, 'don't touch my social security, my Medicare, or my OBAMACARE!'

    • whatamoroon

      You are dreaming. If the high premiums and the even higher deductibles don't turn people against O'Bama care, then the fact that they have to drive 50 to 100 miles to find a participating hospital will.

      • wv4ever

        If you had cancer and the doctor was 100 miles away, would you drive there for treatment? Have you ever had a HMO or PPO type policy? Have you ever had to choose between getting medical treatment and paying your electric bill? Do you how much insurance policy premiums were going up per year prior to Obamacare? Did you know that deductibles have been increasing every year even before Obamacare? Lastly, do you personally know anything about insurance? You have had your head in the sand for years if you did not know these things were happening way before Obama!

        • Aaron

          "Do you how much insurance policy premiums were going up per year prior to Obamacare?"

          Premiums are still going up. The standard silver policy that cost the average taxpayer less than 100 dollars per month is still increasing. We're you to purchase that policy on your own in WV that plan would likely cost you $600.00 or more per month.

          The difference is that now Joe Taxpayer is subsidizing the premium.

          So how are we going to pay for subsidy? Thus far, 6 million Americans have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. For every hundred dollars per month Taxpayers are required to subsidize the premium $600,000,000.00 is being added to our debt, per month.

          Nothing is free.

    • Shadow

      How many of those 6 million have paid their bill? The answer is: No One knows! Most businesses require payment before the product is delivered. With the high deductible, how many Drs are going to give service until they have some assurance their bill will be paid. The solution to this problem will be difficult for many. Obamacare must be revoked or this Country's healthcare system will go into the pot.

    • Aaron

      Unless of course we're broke as a nation.

    • ViennaGuy

      Signing up and actually having insurance coverage are two completely different things. The news media is littered with stories of people who signed up and thought they had coverage, but found out that when they did go to the hospital, they had no coverage.

    • The typical liberal spin

      As a physician, I will tell you, it's a disaster. You are counting a LARGE percentage in your data that LOST insurance that they already had because of this debacle, and had to re-enroll. The Kool Aid is poison. Spit it out.

      • wv4ever

        This is not true Doctor. The policies were replaced with better policies, not lost. Each insurance company had to upgrade and give people the total benefit of their premiums. You need to change your tv channel from Fox News to Dora the Explorer in your waiting room so you can understand what is going on in the real world. Doctors like you are why we need national health care.

      • Matt

        Spoken like a true medical professional who wants to hold onto every outrageously charged dollar for medical care.

        • Oh you got me

          Spoken like your typical bottom-feeding liberal. When faced with facts, they revert to personal attacks.

          • Matt

            Sorry. Seems like I hit a nerve.

  • Damion45

    The Repubs have missed an opportunity to develop and present a superior alternative. They need to be affirmative and show a better way...otherwise it is just politics as usual. A pox on all their houses!

    • Aaron

      I would agree with that statement. While the House has voted to repeal healthcare, I've seen no alternatives to replace the law. For a while, the mantra was repeal and replace but lately it's just been repeal.

      One alternative would have been a system similar to Singapore's system in which citizens get basic insurance and if they want more, they have the ability to choose it.

      Another system could have been based on what Wholefoods does in that they will pay for preventative care and emergency care but basic care was left to the individual to cover and negotiate, including unnecessary expensive test.

      Perhaps had the taken the route these 6 Senators have taken, revise, they might have gotten somewhere.

      Instead, Republicans have dropped the ball. I agree, this is politics as usual.

    • Shadow

      I think quite a few proposals have been made and quite a few bills have been sent to the Senate and they are under Reid's brain.

  • jm

    Wow, cant believe I am reading this headline. Just what the American people have been saying for a couple years now. Fix what is wrong, don't scrap it........... Am Sure that Joe will claim it as his idea......since he has been repeatedly told that for years.

    • Ragweed

      jm - the big problem is that we can't just fix what is wrong, because their is little to nothing that is right about this debacle. Manchin is in a snit. His fence straddling attempts are coming home to roost, and I venture that his term in the
      senate will be coming to an end when he is up for re-election. Between his gun control comments and his obamacare shenanigans he has little to run on. I had great hopes for him.

      Scrap bamacare. People need health care and not health insurance. I am in favor of (and I hate to say it, but who else will do it) government run clinics, but ONLY if legitimate people are treated and not every Tom, Dick and Harry who thinks they have it rough.

      Maybe we need more chiropractic clinics. It seems a lot of people have back problems - they won't bend!!!!!

    • OldSkool

      Who wants it fixed? It can't be fixed. Obama has tried to fix it on the fly for months and it is getting worse. Start over, period.

    • Not Really

      The vast majority want it repealed, not "fixed." It's not salvageable.

      • FactChecker

        Not accurate. Depending on which polls you consult, anywhere from 35 to 50 percent of the nation does want the law repealed. That’s not insignificant. But it's not even a clear majority, and certainly not vast. Some want it repealed because it doesn't go far enough, and want a single-payer system.

        • The Cold Hard Truth

          Health care IS NOT a human right. Somebody foots the bill.

          • OK

            As do I, but each person should pay for his or her own care. It's not my responsibility.

          • WVguy

            You're entitled to your opinion. As am I. I believe it is a right of everyone to have a chance at a healthy life and preventive care.

        • The typical liberal spin


  • wvman75

    Look at the list of Manchin's co-sponsors. All democrats who are vulnerable this coming election cycle due to their support for Obamacare and all things Obama.

    Big surprise.

  • Jim N Charleston

    5 out of the 6 are democrats with 4 from red states and facing a reelection in 2014 that they're hopefully gonna lose. God Bless America and political parties getting their agendas passed without ever being read or studied in record time.

    May a plague extinguish them from the planet

    • JL


  • whatamoroon

    I agree with all. When the liberals passed O'Bama care they didn't realize they were waking up a sleeping giant called the American voter.

  • Ron Joyner

    Just another attempt by some Dems up for re-election to distant themselves from the Pres. and win.

  • slow country

    Remember shooting Obama care with a rifle ad? What happened to repealing this power grab, that's all it is. Just another power hungry,big government lap dog in Washington telling lies. He's to busy raising money with former mayor Bloomburg in NY for gun control.They will say its common sense solutions. I ask is it common to give up our rights and freedoms to these clowns that want only to control us.

    • Damion45

      To be fair, he shot the Cap and Trade Bill.

      • Jay

        After Rahall signed it.

  • RHytonen

    Medicare for All is the fiscal inevitability.

    Even the craven Manchin should see that.

    • Aaron

      Given that Medicare faces more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, is rife with fraud, abuse and waste, is that really the smart thing to do?

  • RogerD

    Over 85% of Americans were content with the health care they were getting before these lunatics messed things up. This is the quality of our leaders today. They implement changes to our lives that have life and death consequences causing great hardship to millions and then spend more time and money trying to "fix" it.

    • Debra

      RogerD, 85% of the people were happy with the healthcare they had? I think that number is incorrect, and the fact that they had coverage doesn't really matter. The point is to fix the system so EVERYONE has care. And the reason the Republicans have not proposed a replacement is because it is a really difficult problem and people will probably be just as unhappy with their alternative. Change is difficult, and there will be pitfalls along the way, but we will come out ok on the other side.

    • FactChecker

      Except for the WV coal miners with black lung who had little chance of any benefits before the ACA came along. Repeal all of the ACA, and you repeal black lung benefits.

      • WRONG

        Black lung clinics are prevalent all across WV, and have been for the last 15+ years, and have NOTHING to do with the ACA. I know this because I am employed by one. Get your facts straight. I guess if you don't know, fabricate away!!! It's the liberal way!!!

        • FactChecker

          I never said clinics are not available. I said miners have never had the chance for recovery of benefits like the ACA affords them. Byrd put that into the law to help miners. This according to Joe Massie, president of the National Black Lung Assoc., and Cecil Roberts, president of the UMW. Get your facts straight.

          • Beekeeper

            What? My dad suffered from black lung and was never denied treatment, which was always covered. He also recieved his blak lung benefits. As an ordinary hard working coal miner, I'm sure he wasn't treated any different from other miners with the disease.

    • clarifyplease

      Was that 85% of the already insured? 85% percent of total citizens? How much over 85% was it? Were the "85%" happy with coverage, cost, or total package?
      Great leaders start from the ground floor, with motivated, informed voters. Everyone is so quick to shout ambiguois percentages.

      • Aaron

        Do you think Barrack Obama, who went to Washington and let Harry Reid and Nancy Peolosi fubar health care to the point that when Ted Kennedy passed and Scott Brown was chosen to replace him forcing reconciliation as a means to implement healthcare is a great leader?