Repairing Health Care

“I have repeatedly said we need to repair the health care bill, not repeal it. We cannot go back to the days when millions of Americans were uninsured and nearly twenty percent of our GDP was spent on healthcare, while only being ranked 43rd in the world in health and wellness outcomes. The Affordable Care Act does some things well, like expanding access to preventative care, providing access to those with pre-existing conditions, and closing the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole, but the law has many flaws. That is why I have supported many fixes to the broken parts of this law. I wasn’t here when this bill passed, and the easiest thing I could do as a Senator is to vote no on everything, but the people of West Virginia sent me here to solve problems, and I will continue to work to solve the problems in the health care bill.”

~Senator Manchin

Senator Manchin believes that every American should have access to quality, affordable health care. However, he also believes that America’s health care system – and the Affordable Care Act in particular – is in need of repair. The law contains a number of bad provisions that Senator Manchin is successfully working to repeal, but he supports keeping the good provisions of the law.

Senator Manchin has been a leader in successfully repealing some of the bad parts of health care reform. He was the lead sponsor of the successful effort to repeal the onerous 1099 provision, which would have cost jobs and hurt countless West Virginians businesses by requiring small businesses, charities and churches to file an IRS form for any transaction greater than $600.

Senator Manchin was also the lead sponsor of a commonsense proposal to delay the individual mandate penalty for one year, giving American consumers a true transition year to browse and explore options for them, their families and their businesses. This bill would eliminate the penalty fees until January 1, 2015 if individuals choose to not enroll for a health care plan in 2014.

Senator Manchin truly believes that effective health care reform should expand access to coverage, while not inhibiting economic growth. That’s why he also has sought to change the definition of a full-time workweek to help small businesses and prevent employees from having their hours reduced. He supports a bipartisan proposal, the Forty Hours is Full Time Act, which would change the definition of “full-time” employee from 30 to 40 hours a week.

Senator Manchin has also worked to ensure individuals can keep their existing health insurance plans and prevent insurers from cancelling their coverage.  He was the lead sponsor of the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act, which would require insurers to provide a detailed notice and explanation to policyholders before cancelling coverage and also provide individuals with information from their insurance provider on parts of the policy that do not meet minimum coverage standards made available in new plans.

Senator Manchin led a successful effort to exempt volunteer firefighters from a critical provision of the Affordable Care Act. Due to an unintentional technical error, the law imposed unreasonable burdens on many volunteer emergency response agencies. Senator Manchin in response introduced a fix to ensure a clear distinction between full-time, paid emergency responders and volunteers so that our emergency response teams can continue to keep our communities safe without the threat of reducing necessary funding for training or emergency response hours.

Read more details about the legislative actions Senator Manchin supports to repair the Affordable Care Act:

• 1099 Provision
• One-Year Delay of Individual Mandate Penalty
 Full Time Workweek Definition Extends to 40-Hours
• Grandfather Current Health Care Plans
• Volunteer First Responder Exemption


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