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Manchin: When I Said I'd Vote for Obamacare Days Before It Passed, I Didn't Know It Was 2,000 Pages Long

12:03 PM, Oct 24, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Via the Huffington Post, here's West Virginia governor and Democratic Senate candidate Joe Manchin explaining on Fox News Sunday why he would have voted against the health care bill:

Chris Wallace: You're saying now that if you had known what was really in the bill, although last March you said you would have voted for it, you are now saying you would have voted against it?


Joe Manchin: Correct. Knowing the existence as far as how reaching it had been, as far as [garbled], I would have. And I think many people didn't know about the bill. It ends up 2,000 pages or more. Bottom line, the concept was great as far as pre-existing conditions, how do we make sure more people have affordable insurance, how do we take care of children ... keeping children on insurance longer because of the market conditions. There are a lot of good parts to it. Why won't we fix what is wrong with it and make it better.

Manchin was asked on March 15: "If you were a House member ... and you've got your choice: vote up on the Senate bill or vote down on the Senate bill, how do you vote?"

"I'd be for it," Manchin replied. "You have to move this ball forward. ... I have never, since I've been in the legislative process, and since I have been governor, I have never got a perfect bill.""

So apparently sometime between March 15 and March 21 when it secured final passage in the House, Manchin realized that Obamacare and was really long. Manchin also criticized the bill because of "the mandate, and firewall is not strong enough for abortion. I'm pro-life."

Of course, the mandate was a part of every major version of the bill and Manchin offered no caveat on March 15 that he would have supported Obamacare only on the condition that it prohibited taxpayer-funding of abortion. As the HuffPo's Sam Stein says, this "can only be described as a full 180" flip flop.

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