“For states that held out to get rewarded with 100%, that’s not fair,” Manchin told reporters.
Manchin also said that he is worried about adding new federal health care spending when existing programs, like Medicare, are running out of money.
Democrats are hoping this week to settle on the outline on the spending bill that is likely to cost around $1.8 trillion over several years. The package currently is about double that size, meaning that many of its provisions will be scaled down or cut altogether.
Republicans oppose the bill saying it is too costly, so it is unlikely to receive a single favorable GOP vote. That means in the Senate, which is split 50-50, Democrats cannot afford a single defection.
That’s why Manchin’s criticism of the Medicaid expansion provision carries so much weight. However, Ossoff, Warnock and their allies have also reminded party leaders that Democrats wouldn’t have the majority and be in a position to pass the legislation if they had not won their seats earlier this year.
Neither would say Tuesday whether they would withdraw support for the measure if the Medicaid expansion language is removed.
The debate over Medicaid is just one of several health care-related issues that Democrats still need to resolve. Others include paid family leave, controlling the costs of prescription drugs, and adding new coverages to Medicare. In addition, lawmakers are still deciding what climate change provisions to include and how they will increase taxes on the wealthy or businesses to pay for new spending.
Republicans oppose the spending plan saying it is too costly, so it is unlikely to receive a single favorable GOP vote. That means in the Senate, which is split 50-50, Democrats cannot afford a single defection.