Joe Manchin Pours Cold Water on Bernie Sanders’ Push to Expand Medicare

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - FEBRUARY 20: In this handout image provided by NATO, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) look over cadets at the Afghan National Police Academy February 20, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghan National Police Cadets participated in drills showing how to clear a building …
Ernesto Hernandez Fonte/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) swiftly slammed the door on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) efforts to expand Medicare as part of Democrat-crafted legislation that could cost over a trillion dollars.

Over the weekend, Sanders took to social media to urge Democrats to expand Medicare funds to cover dental, vision, and hearing services, claiming the move is popular with Americans.

“The expansion of Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision is supported by 84% of the public and is one of the most important provisions in Build Back Better. It’s what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get,” Sanders tweeted.

On Monday, Manchin rebuked Sanders’ effort, pointing out that Medicare already faces insolvency issues by 2026.

“My big concern right now is the 2026 deadline [for] Medicare insolvency and if no one’s concerned about that, I’ve got people — that’s a lifeline. Medicare and Social Security is a lifeline for people back in West Virginia, most people around the country,” Manchin explained, according to The Hill. “You’ve got to stabilize that first before you look at basically expansion. So if we’re not being fiscally responsible, that’s a concern.”

“I’ve always said that I believe that government should be your best partner, but it shouldn’t be your provider. We have a moral obligation to provide to those who have incapacities such as physical or mental. But everyone else should be able to help and chip in and all that. So that’s my mindset,” he said.

More details to follow. 

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