While West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin isn't signing on to Sen. Bernie Sanders' “Medicare for all” bill, he's joining fellow red state Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana in saying that it's time to start considering a single-payer healthcare system in the U.S. Really. That Joe Manchin.
"It should be explored," said West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who faces re-election next year in a state President Donald Trump carried by 42 points. "I want to know what happens in all the countries that have it—how well it works or the challenges they have." […]
Manchin later issued a statement saying he's "skeptical that single-payer is the right solution" and that the Senate should "carefully consider all of the options."
Yeah, it's a walk-back, but not a major one. He said it's something that should be considered, which is way further than any ConservaDem (remember them?) was going to go back in 2009-10 when the Affordable Care Act was being debated. In just these seven years, the thinking on healthcare reform has undergone a revolution, at least on the left. Part of that is because of the successes Obamacare has managed to have—Congress effected reform and the sky didn't fall and it actually helped a lot of people.
Which is also why when Sanders introduces his Medicare for all bill Wednesday morning, he's going to have at least nine co-sponsors. New signees on Tuesday are Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Of particular note here is Baldwin, who is running for re-election next year in a state that Trump won. Her explanation for cosponsoring is simple and truthful: "Every American should have affordable care. Let's reach that goal."
That's not a radical—or even crazy liberal—statement for a Democrat to make anymore.