EDITORIAL: Tomblin, Manchin Support Obamacare's Expensive Provisions Despite Deep Citizen Concerns

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  Tomblin, Manchin Support Obamacare's Expensive Provisions Despite Deep Citizen Concerns

We all know that Joe Manchin flip-flopped on Obamacare. His late election-year conversion to the position held by a majority of West Virginians in poll after poll was a sham, and we should have seen through that.

After all, right before he got into the 2010 U.S. Senate special election with conservative opponent John Raese, Manchin had been a highly-valued helper for President Obama. 

In Manchin, Obama had a Democratic Governor who was at least perceived to be conservative, willing to go on national talk shows to promote the President's controversial government-run health care plan as it came up for a vote in Congress.

Manchin couldn't have been more clear on those shows, as he said that the time was now for this sweeping, socialistic reform.

Manchin lost his conservative credentials that day--and he scrambled to get them back later that year in the campaign against Raese for the last two years of Byrd's unexpired term.  So Manchin reversed himself, assuring us that he, too, had reservations about Obamacare and would vote against it if elected the U.S. Senate.

And then?  In what can only be described as an Olympic style "triple flip," Manchin returned to his original position and--you guessed it--voted for Obamacare in the U.S. Senate revote.  In fact, it was one of the very first votes cast by the new U.S. Senator from West Virginia.


Now West Virginians are about to get a full taste of what Manchin and his second-in-command, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, have gotten us into when it comes to Obamacare.  Through a device known as "exchanges," the federal government has mandated that each state must prepare to assist in funding the new Obamacare plan.  

As noted by public policy analyst Nicole Kaeding last week in The Daily Caller:

"Health care exchanges organized voluntarily by market participants are something that conservatives could support. Exchanges should function as a free-market mechanism allowing consumers to make informed health care purchasing decisions in a simple, innovative and transparent manner. Yet, the exchanges as created by Obamacare and HHS fail to meet this most basic standard.

"These exchanges pile thousands of pages of rules, regulations and mandates on each state’s insurance markets, harming competition and consumers. Forcing insurers to provide “essential health benefits” under “qualified health plans” with little to no cost-sharing does nothing but raise premiums, a fact even acknowledged by Obamacare’s chief architect, economist Jonathan Gruber.

"According to a study of the Wisconsin insurance market authored by Gruber, Obamacare will push up individual premiums by an average of 30% in the Badger State."  ("States Should Reject Obamacare Exchanges?" The Daily Caller, March 15, 2012)

Are West Virginians, particularly those on fixed incomes, ready to see Medicare get replaced by an unknown federal program that pushes up our premiums by an average of 30%? 

That's exactly what Manchin and Tomblin have given us by following the President's lead on Obamacare instead of defending their own West Virginia constituents better.


Over half of the states have joined a lawsuit challenging Obamacare and these exchanges.  But, for some reason, not West Virginia.  What is it about socialized medicine that turns Manchin and Tomblin on so much?  Is it the higher costs or less access to needed treatments that really convinced them?

Or is it a simple thing called partisan politics, putting the wishes of their party's leader above their own state's citizens? 

Even though West Virginians in both parties have overwhelmingly rejected President Obama at the ballot box and Obamacare in polls, Governor Tomblin and the Democratic Party's leadership have gone full steam ahead to comply with the Obama Administration on Obamacare.

This, despite the overwhelming majority of our state's senior citizens preferring their existing Medicaid and Medicare coverage to Obamacare.  But these two popular federal programs are having their funding robbed in order to pay for President Obama's grand experiment in socialized medicine.

If Republican candidates John Raese and Bill Maloney want to show West Virginians another way out of this mess, with the help of a new Attorney General named Patrick Morrisey, a national expert on Obamacare's problems, this is the year for them to make their case.

Because West Virginians are about to wake up to 30% increases in health insurance premiums--and a lesser quality of care.

We look forward to the coming debates between Manchin, Tomblin, and McGraw vs. Raese, Maloney, and Morrisey on this key issue of the 2012 campaign.


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