KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Manchin May Buck Democrats On Individual Mandate Delay

News outlets are reporting that Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said Thursday he'd be willing to support a year-long delay in the health law's individual mandate if it came before the Senate -- and then walked those comments back. Some other Democrats support modest tweaks to the law, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Bloomberg: Democrat Manchin Breaks Ranks To Back Mandate Delay
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia broke ranks with fellow Democrats and said he’d support a stopgap spending plan that delays the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health-care law. ... At the breakfast, Manchin said the individual health-insurance rule should be delayed at least a year. "Don't put the mandate on the American public right now," he said. "If you know you couldn’t bring the corporate sector, you gave them a year, don’t you think it’d be fair?" Manchin also said he’d be willing to negotiate in a debate over raising the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt limit. He said he’d support "efficiencies" in Medicare and Social Security and using most of the savings for debt reduction (Bender, 9/26).

Politico: Manchin OK With Obamacare Individual Mandate Delay
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday he would vote for a government funding bill that delays Obamacare’s individual mandate for a year if it came up in the Senate, later backtracking and clarifying he doesn’t believe Obamacare should be part of the government funding showdown (Kopan, 9/26).

Fox News: Sen. Manchin Bucks Dems To Back Obamacare Delay – Then Walks Back Remark
Democrats may have just lost one of their own in the high-stakes fight over ObamaCare -- or maybe not. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a moderate Democrat known at times to buck his party, said Thursday that he'd be willing to support a spending bill that also delays the law's requirement on individuals to buy health insurance. "There's no way I could not vote for it," Manchin said. "It's very reasonable and sensible” (9/26).

The Wall Street Journal: Tweaks To Health Law Attract Some Democrats
Sen. Mary Landrieu, facing the prospect of a tough race next year, is squarely behind the Affordable Care Act—up to a point. "It needs to be fixed, not repealed," she said. Democrats overwhelmingly oppose Republican efforts to defund or delay the law, which the GOP wants to attach to must-pass fiscal measures. At the same time, many are eager to find ways to improve it, opening a small chink in a unified Democratic position that will be tested in coming days (O’Connor and Peterson, 9/26).

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