January 15, 2017

Manchin focused on bipartisan goals | Martinsburg Journal

CHARLESTON — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has two primary goals during the upcoming term. He wants to create a pathway for getting both parties working together, and he wants to focus on fixing the flawed health care system.

Manchin, born and raised in Farmington, West Virginia, said putting the country above political parties is the No. 1 challenge during the upcoming term.

“The best policy is good government,” Manchin said. “Good government helps everyone, regardless of party.”

Although Manchin said the goal of putting country above party is common sense, he said it will be a difficult challenge in the upcoming years.

“The past six to eight years has been very divisive for our country,” Manchin said. “History tells us we don’t want to continue down this road. This year’s election didn’t turn out the way Democrats wanted, and it didn’t turn out the way Republicans wanted. The people spoke and want change. This election should be a wake-up call for both parties. The people are saying they want to see things being accomplished.”

One of the many issues dividing the country is health care. Manchin said the history of the health care dilemma was and continues to be a hotly contested issue in the Senate.

Manchin said the bill was initially approved with an all-Democrat majority. Now, the health care bill will be repealed by an all-Republican majority.

“It was wrong not to accommodate the Republican concerns at the bill’s inception,” Manchin said. “However, repealing the bill with an all-Republican majority only compounds the problem.”

Manchin said the best way to solve the health care problem is by making it a bipartisan bill.

“We should fix it, not end it,” Manchin said. “The Democrats acknowledge the health care system needs many repairs. We need to create a solution to bring the country together.”

Manchin said the health care issue is more confusing than it initially seems. The Republicans currently plan to repeal the taxes funding the Affordable Care Act rather than the services themselves, according to Manchin.

“They’re promising not to take health care services away, but they’re taking the tax away to fund it,”Manchin said. “It’s going to cost $353 billion to repeal the taxes, so why don’t we just go ahead and fix it.”

Although Manchin said the job comes with many challenges, helping people is the ultimate reward. He said he has had many opportunities to help his home state through the positions he’s held. He believes putting people first and creating good policies is what got him re-elected.

“People asked me I would do if Clinton was elected or if Trump was elected; I told them I would do my job,” Manchin said. “My job is to work with any and every person who comes into the office and help them be the best president they can possibly be. This upcoming term will be very exciting and challenging, but I’m looking forward to working with the incoming administration and continuing to put the country first.”

By:  Danyel VanReenen