After Saying He Could ‘Repeal The Whole Thing,’ Manchin Back To Supporting Parts Of Health Reform

The Washington Independent’s Jesse Zwick watched Gov. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) many flip flops during yesterday’s West Virginia Senate debate and wondered “What liberal views does Manchin still hold, and what, if anything, could he be relied upon to vote for in the Senate?” — something health care advocates and reporters have wondered for quite some time now. Because if Manchin has changed his views on tax cuts and cap and trade, he’s done a 360 and back again on the Affordable Care Act. Consider the following:

Supported parts of ACA during debate: “I’m not prepared to scrap the entire bill, there are parts that need changed,” he said, “but let me tell you, I’m not prepared to tell your child who had a pre-existing condition, that he or she can’t be covered. There’s a lot of good in the bill that basically Democrats and Republicans agree with.” [West Virginia Public Broadcasting, 10/18/2010]

Supported parts of ACA in radio ad: “One out of every four West Virginians under the age of 65 suffers from a pre-existing medical condition such as heart disease, cancer or asthma,” the narrator says in the new radio spot. The ad then switches to a recording of Raese saying, “I don’t believe that insurance companies be mandated to handle pre-existing conditions.” [The Hill, 10/18/2010]

Shot a hole through ACA in TV ad: “I’ll take on Washington and this administration to get the federal government off of our backs and out of our pockets,” Manchin says in the TV spot. “I’ll cut federal spending, and I’ll repeal the bad parts of ObamaCare.” [CNN, 10/11/2010]

Would repeal all of ACA: I still and have always been in support of health reform. If anybody believes that a child should be left off of their parents and also pre-existing conditions and small businesses and all those things should go uninsured, something is wrong in America. Now with that, the president’s plan — ‘Obamacare,’ as it’s been called — is far too reaching. It’s overreaching. It needs to have a lot of it repealed. But you can fix that. If you can’t fix that, repeal the whole thing. [Fox News, 10/11/2010]

Would repeal parts of ACA: “The Governor felt it was important to move the ball forward on healthcare reform and that something had to be done to help more working people obtain health insurance, so he said at the time that he would vote to do that. However, as more details have come out about what was included in the final version of the healthcare reform bill, there are several sections that he would now vote to repeal, including any provisions that allow for the funding of abortions and the provisions that are cumbersome to small businesses. He also believes people’s personal responsibility and healthcare choices should not be taken away by overreaching regulations. So knowing what he knows now, he would have fought for changes to the final version of the bill before voting and he would not have voted for it in its current form.” [Wonk Room, 9/28/2010]

Would have vote for ACA: “I’d be for [the Affordable Care Act]. I think you’ve got to move the ball. Ted is exactly right. You have to move this ball forward right wrong or indifferent. I have never, since I’ve been in the legislative process and since I’ve been governor, I’ve never gotten a perfect bill. I’ve never gotten a bill exactly the way I’ve wanted it….Let’s try, let’s try to make this. Bring us all in. Let’s make it work.” [National Governors Association, 3/17/2010]

Interestingly, Manchin — who is now leading his race in West Virginia — is no longer answering report queries about this exact position on the law.