Manchin: Single-Payer Should Be ‘Explored’ by Congress

Sen. Joe Manchin / Getty Images
Sen. Joe Manchin / Getty Images

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) said Tuesday that Congress should explore a single-payer health care system, but later clarified he remains "skeptical" that it is the "right solution."

Manchin is not ready to sign on to Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) "Medicare-for-All" bill, Bloomberg reported. Sanders' bill is expected to go to the floor Wednesday.

"It should be explored," Manchin said to Bloomberg of single-payer. "I want to know what happens in all the countries that have it — how well it works or the challenges they have."

In a subsequent statement to the Daily Beast, the West Virginia senator clarified that he was skeptical of single-payer being the solution to the nation's healthcare woes.

"I am skeptical that single-payer is the right solution," Manchin said. "But I believe that the Senate should carefully consider all of the options through regular order so that we can fully understand the impacts of these ideas on both our people and our economy."

He also emphasized the importance of a bipartisan solution.

Although Manchin remains doubtful of single-payer, the conservative-leaning Democrat's openness to the idea is yet another recent signal of change in the Democratic party and it's stance on Sanders' signature policy.

Sanders' Medicare-for-All bill has earned backing from a number of prominent Democrats, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.). Overall, about a quarter of Senate Democrats now support Sanders' bill.