Manchin: Obamacare 'Absolutely' Will Crash on Its Own If Costs Become Too High
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday that Obamacare "absolutely" is at risk of undergoing a "meltdown" and crashing to the ground.
"I've only asked for one thing. I said listen, I'm not worried about the glitches, computer glitches. We'll fix that sooner or later. I'm worried about having the product that the market will buy. And we're not letting people shop. So with that being said, myself and Mark Kirk introduced a bill. The only bipartisan bill that says why don't we wait basically before we put any crimes or fines until January 1, 2015," Manchin said on CNN.
"This whole 2014 will be a transitional year. To find out where our glitches are and our little nuances that we have to work for, and find out if the market can produce the products that we need to keep this and us healthy. That's what it's all about."
But, he stressed, "at the end of the day, if it's so much more expensive than what we anticipated and that the coverage is not as good as what we've had, you've got a complete meltdown at that time."
"So this transitional year gives you a chance to adjust the products to the market. And to see if the market will absorb and buy the product," continued Manchin, who was not in Congress when the Affordable Care Act was passed.
"Well, are they willing to basically come to the realization this is all America is willing to pay and this is what they're wanting for what they pay, and are they getting the best product? Don't say this is what you got to buy, whether you like it or not, and you're going to pay more even though you didn't think you were? I think that's where we are. So I'd like to say, can you move the ball forward? Can I get more people insured? Can I get more people healthier? Do I have to have people -- are they in jeopardy of one catastrophic illness into bankruptcy? Can we not agree as Democrats and Republicans, those are worthy goals to get rid of, and move to a healthier populace for a healthy workforce?"
When asked if Obamacare falls of its own weight, the senator replied, "It falls of its own weight if basically the cost becomes more than we can absorb, absolutely."
Manchin also said he's "hopeful" some sort of background check legislation goes through in 2014, but he understands why the Manchin-Toomey compromise didn't clear a cloture vote in the Senate.
"The people that basically are law-abiding gun owners and understand gun culture, they weren't offended by saying if you go to a commercial transaction, that it makes sense to go ahead and find out is that person that wants to buy your gun a criminal? What we found out is that people just didn't trust government, that they were going to stop there. So they said hey Joe, we're OK with the bill. We like the bill. The bill is not bad at all. We can live with that. But we just don't trust - we just don't trust government stopping and doing what we say we're going to do."