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Tags: Battle '10

Manchin Now Supports Partial Repeal of Obamacare, Left Dubious



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West Virgina’s mix of conservatism and union support continues to make for interesting politics. On one hand, Democratic candidate Gov. Joe Manchin, in an interview with RealClearPolitics, struck a conservative note and announced his support for a partial repeal of Obamacare. One person who isn’t convinced that Manchin intends to do this is a blogger, Igor Volsky, at the liberal Think Progress:

Manchin’s newfound opposition to parts of the law is peculiar, given his past support for the President’s reform efforts. In 2009, Manchin expressed concerns about what Medicaid expansion “would do to the budgets” but said he saw merits in the idea, since poor uninsured families and individuals often “end up using emergency rooms or only seek medical attention when they have costly, catastrophic medical needs.” “This week, [Obama will] say this is what I think America needs and this is what we’re going to fight for. And I’m behind that. I’m totally behind health care reform,” Manchin said that year.

During a March 17 panel on health care at the National Governors Association, Manchin reiterated his worries about the costs associated with expanding Medicaid, but stopped short of calling for repeal. Instead, he said the law should be given a chance to work and Congress should make adjustments if costs grow out of control. “I’m hoping that in four years time period that they’re saying we’re going to pay for everything and if this thing mushrooms out of control, they’re going to have to make some adjustments in that period of time,” he said. When TIME reporter Karen Tumulty asked the governors if they would vote for the health care bill, Manchin said that he would …

On the other hand, the AFL-CIO union is working to energize union workers by sending out mailings this Monday to West Virginians with the dire message that a vote for GOP candidate John Raese is a vote for dangerous mines.  “After the deadliest mining disaster in 40 years, one Senate candidate wants to ‘unshackle’ management from safety regulations, and one is fighting to make them stronger,” warns the mailing, part of the 3.5 million mailings the AFL-CIO is sending out today to several states, including California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

More West Virginia news:

—  RealClearPolitics reports that John Raese intends to make cap-and-trade a pivotal issue in the race.

● Mitt Romney endorsed Raese today, The Hill reports.



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