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Does Joe Manchin Want to Repeal the Tax Hikes and Medicare Cuts in Obamacare?

4:15 PM, Oct 26, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Does Joe Manchin Want to Repeal the Tax Hikes and Medicare Cuts in Obamacare?

Does West Virginia's Democratic governor and Senate candidate Joe Manchin support the tax hikes and Medicare cuts that are supposed to pay for Obamacare? Or does Manchin want to repeal these provisions and add another $1 trillion to the debt by 2019? His campaign won't say.

Manchin has been trying to have it both ways on the national health care law--he supports "repealing the things that are bad in" the law, but wants to keep what he likes, such as requiring insurers to offer people with preexisting conditions the same policies as everyone else at no extra cost. The specific bad things Manchin has said he would like to repeal are the individual mandate, the federal funding for abortion coverage, and the 1099 reporting provision for businesses. Getting rid of the mandate requiring people to buy insurance but keeping Obamacare's preexisting conditions policy would lead to a so-called "death spiral" for the insurance industry. People will just wait until they're sick to purchase insurance that insurance companies are compelled to offer them (we may already be heading toward said "death spiral" because the mandate is not strong enough).

Manchin has not yet explained how he thinks he can get rid of the mandate and keep the ban on discriminating against people with preexisting conditions. Nor has he explained whether he supports paying for Obamacare with tax hikes and Medicare cuts or by borrowing the money, and a Manchin spokesman has not responded to this question from THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Perhaps a local or national reporter will have a chance to try to hold Manchin accountable.

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