tv Senator Joe Manchin Town Hall Meeting CSPAN March 20, 2017 4:36am-5:57am EDT
this is an hour and 20 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. i want to thank elizabeth. she is a product of farmington, west virginia. her whole family went to school with me. and i am proud of what she is doing. this is unbelievable. god bless you all. i'm available. thank you all. i thinkthank all of our speakers, who would did xcellent. this makes a difference. personal testimony
makes a difference. i appreciate you being here. i want to thank the people here makes a difference. i and i do not know if there are others, but i want to thank them . sometimes, it is tough. want to introduce my staff. we do casework. anything you need help with, we will make sure you get the help and the ssistance you need. kim, where is kim? she is a top caseworker. we have maria. maria is back here. we have rian and tj. i want to thank
all of them. i'm sure you have a lot of concerns on other issues. it is all on the table and the affordable care act is the biggest challenge we face right now, the largest social agenda and policy change we have. it is right up there. social security didn't get it right and medicare did not get it right. it will take a wild. there is not a person who doesn't think we need to fix it. we can fix it, but you do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. the politics of this re bad. let me tell you what
we are dealing with. i met with president trump and i said, let me tell you what is happening. my republican colleagues and your rublican colleagues are taking you down a path of a political promise. i came to the senate, after senator byrd went away. we all still miss him. trust me. he was something. anyways, they voted to repeal 60 times and i never saw something that was a little bit better or something that would fix it. i'm the person they go to if they are looking to try to work with. nobody. so, i'm thinking, ok will stop now, all of a sudden, this has been -- i'm thinking ok. now,
all of a sudden, this has been the mantra. in 2014, we've lost the house and the senate and they thought they were on a roll. they thought that people wanted them to repeal. i'm saying, wait a minute. now, it s put up or shut up. i said to the president that they are telling him to repeal, but not change things. they are trying to get through a political election. that is all they are trying to do. they know how devastating it is going to be and they think that they can push out the losses until after the election. i said that they are going to repeal every single tax that pays for this and you are going to be upside
own in two years with your budget and they have not explained it to you. i said, that is not right. don't know down that. we may have slowed him up. he said that they were going to repeal and replace on he same day. maybe there are mirror as i don't know about -- miracles i don't know about, but i'll think that is likely. -- i don't think that is likely. there is no reason we annot sit down and look at the repair that is needed in the private markets and fix it. if we all agree that -- democrats
and republicans -- pre-existing conditions are inhumane. you have to allow people to buy insurance. republicans tell me that they agree with that and they tell me that we should not have a cap that says, i'm sorry you have used all of the money we can afford to spend on you. we all agree that that is not humane and we all agreed that 26-year-olds should stay on and that senior citizens -- why would you want to throw this out? why would you want to repeal this and start over? here is where the problem is. i ill use salary and private
sector and the private market. you are paying higher premiums and you are saying you are not getting insurance and you have to pay thousands until you start using the insurance. you have to get the product and the market matched. they will pay the fine, but not the $4600, because it is costly. we can change that with a change in the delivery system. the united mining workers have been getting screwed and i want to tell you what has happened, so
that you know the entire story. we are fighting for our health tensn. this stard withre on an ohn lewis getting a poolout. he said that we fought in these cowars and it is so important for us to have the energy that e have had. they act said that there would be a certain amount of money takinen from coal to pay. that went on and we had hat in place. the bankruptcy laws came into place and allowed people to stick us for
what they paid. then, we had the crash and we really went upside down. we had to pay for he reclamation fund and we are not using that money. we are using excess money to pay for the pension and the retirement fund. we cannot get this bill on the floor and we have used everything we can to hold it up. i have a trade agents on old and he is going to stay. we are going to get our health are done. i want to talk about
oh the. -- about opiates. i ave learned a lot and i have made a lot of mistakes, but never to try to hurt the state. i have always learned from mistakes and i have tried to do things and some rings do not work out and you have to fix them. for the first time in my lifetime, we have been below 50% of adults in the working age. we still have the test workers in the world. people say that the workers of west virginia will give you a good day of work for a good day's pay. there are lack of skill sets, addiction, or convictions. or, a commendation -- a combination of those
three. if we are honest with ourselves, there is somebody we know in our immediate family or close friend who has been ffected by drugs. if we do not step forward and fight this, god help us all. there is not a anotheranother country that can take us on. there is not another economy that comes lose to our economy. they kw they cannot. yes what? they do not have to. they think that we will full from within. they do not think that we have a well
educated workforce to remain a superpower. we are not producing the people who can keep us a superpower in the world. we have problems of addiction. i have a bill called lifeboat. help me on this bill. t makes people pay one penny per milligram of opioids they produce. let me tell you what t does. it goes to treatment centers around the country and where it is needed. west virginia will have one in every community. the penny will roduce 1.5-two $.5 billion a year. -- $1.5-$2.5 billion.
opioid addiction doesn't care. it is a silent killer because we do not say anything. what we re saying is that this would give us the money to fund it. or the first time, people with mental health disorders are getting help now. we're taking that away immediately. we are back to square one. i get a person with an addiction. i talk to people web been addicted and have had their lives ruined. they are thankful to be alive and say that they want to get cheered. there is a
recovery house. they have an xcellent group of doctors in their town and community. they have a school treating from onception to birth and all the way through. we get them at the tail end, after they have been addicted. they go home to an addicted lifestyle and repeat. this is all inclusive. the other thing is that they will not stay in treatment because they cannot get rid of the conviction. they have the felony on their hands. we have a bill that i need help on that says that, if it is not a
iolent or sexual crime committed, if it is mostly a felony for grand larceny, you o through a recovery plan as a entor and you mentor other people. your sponsors can go to the sentencing and arresting officers to ask for forgiveness o get back into the workforce. o, with that being said, i will open this up to talk about anything and everything. anything and everything does come up and i am happy about that. >> as you can see, there
is a huge . if you have questions, go and stand against he wall. the senator will have a little bit, not much, to answer the question. what time s apportioned? crowd: 90 seconds! >> if you have any uestions, we are here. question you hear me? -- >> can you hear me? i am standing here today on behalf of my best friend who committed suicide last weekend. i appreciate it if you let me finish my uestion. i'm encouraged on
your position on letting the aca stay intact, but hey have -- i have not heard about the silent killer in west virginia, icide and attempts on one's ife. this affects your constituents, our neighbors, and poorest among us. mcdowell county has the highest rate of suicide and the west virginia population has a 50% higher rate of suicide. poverty is a eath sentence. i heard you say, on thursday, that your top donor is your daughter's pharmaceutical company, but you are not working in her favor. you admitted that west
virginia's are dying from suicide and drug overdoses, but your daughter is in the drug ndustry. why are you pushing so many opiates bills? i heard you laugh off medical marijuana and you said that everybody wants to smoke marijuana for keys, love, or whatever. for hose in pain, being denied a safe and natural alternative to the pharmaceuticals that have poisoned every inch of our state is not a laughing matter. with the impending repeal of the affordable care act, thousands of virginians lacking access to medicinal therapies, how do you project the numbers changing for those who consider suicide their only option and
what have you done to educate yourself about the benefits of medical marijuana? sen. manchin: my daughter is the ceo of mylan and she and i know that people at that level are overpaid. we talk about that. i don't have control of hat. they don't have control of that. it is crazy. i don't understand it. with that being aid, i am proud of what they have done and people have good jobs in morgantown. i know people understand that could have been wiped out. i fight opiates. do you think i support opiates? if mylan
pharmaceutical or any other pharmaceutical company considers that their product? -- considers that their product, i would put them out of business. as far as marijuana, there are people who ant recreational marijuana and can tell you that i go to different treatment centers were people have been addicted. nine out of 10 of them will tell me -- crowd; : sen. manchin: people don't think that is true. i'm trying to learn about that. i'm telling you what i find out all stop at the addiction centers,
they tell me that it turns into harder stuff. i am trying to find out and she says that medical marijuana, there are a lot of good attributes and it can help. if that is the case, we will find out about how octors feel about that and the side effects. can you get off of it or is it the same as going to the treatment centers later? i don't know. we will find out. what i know about recreational marijuana, i would not be in favor or legalize rep. rice favor or legalize rep. rice: in the -- legalize recreational marijuana. i know other people feel the same about that. with that, i know that they see the
colorado made a lot of money in this and that and that prohibition doesn't work. i have heard a little bit of verything. we are taking all of that into consideration. this is for me to understand your concerns. all i can tell you is what i know and it may ot be enough to have the conversation you want. i am not accepting recreational marijuana and i am receptive to medical marijuana and how it can help people with their care. >> in the interest of time, a comment about questions, as we move through the process, if you could take your seat so that we can cover the widest variety of. -- of topics. > my name is jennifer wagner
and i live in morgandownto thank you for your support of ealth care for americans. do you support funding for planned parenthood and revert octave rights and health? -- reproductive rights and ealth? senator manchin: we are all a product of our environment. ife is precious. life is a ift. i am as pro-life as possibly can be. i went to congress and i was the governor. i have tried to balance this the best i can. i
know how emotional it is. i have a lot of women in my life and i hear from all different sides of you. i went to the congress and a vote came to defund planned parenthood. being pro-life, i said it made sense. i started learning more and there is the bhyde amendment, which make sure that federal dollars do not go to bortion. people cannot say that your tax dollars are used against you arr will. if i can ind a penny that goes from the fund of federal dollars, i would vote against it , but i
could not. so i voted for funding planned parenthood. we saw the horrible accusations and videos they came out and that was all being investigated and we had another vote and i voted against planned parenthood until that investigation was cleared up and it has been. there are charges against the people who made the unwarranted documents and i can only tell you that, if planned parenthood comes up again and there is no connections, everything is proven false and nothing comes up between now and then, i will vote to fund planned parenthood again.
>> thank you for being here. i now live in morgantown. i want to thank you for supporting the aca, because my husband and i would not be able to afford any insurance otherwise. sen. manchin: you guys are on the markets. i know where you are. >> thank you for fighting for that. sen. manchin: anybody who thinks they are getting free health care, they are working, just getting lower prices. it is not free. >> thank you for that. my question is about another issue in the senate and it is the obby lobby story. neil gorsuch
signed onto in opinion that allowed for profit employers that refuse to comply with the ffordable care act and if it's for women. do you oppose mr. gorsuch? sen. manchin: a good question that comes up all the time. >> to follow-up real quick, can you commit to getting an answer rom mr. gorsuch? sen. manchin: mr. gorsuch has a hearing coming up and i will sit down with him before i make a final decision on him. i have not talked to him. i will. where we are -- i have never been so embarrassed as a u.s.
senator or an american sitting sitting there, my colleagues -- i kept saying we weren't that ay in west virginia. might not agree but we will talk to you. couldn't understand, for 12 months we went without a ominee. mcconnell says basically back in 1990 joe iden said that it shouldn't be someone's last year of their term -- that you shouldn't have that president that is going out a point someone for a lifetime appointment. it is the
argument that is being made. they sat on merrick garland for a year. now we have everybody mad on that side. i can tell you, for democracy to work you have to have three branches of government that work. you have to have the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. and the judicial branch does not work with members of the supreme court. you just can't be on a tie. so this is what we have. harry reid polled a nuclear option. so you deal with the nuclear option in 2015. on the only senate that i'm the only democrat in the senate today. he would be rolling over in his grave. it is wrong. the duty of the senate, unlike any other political policy body in the
orld is so different because e have the rule of the minority, but the majority has o have a vote fresh old -- vote threshold. the house can o anything they want to do with just a simple majority. george washington says the people's member will be like a hot cup of tea, sometimes it will be so hot you can treat it that you can't drink it. -- hat you can't drink it. here's what we are dealing with. 51 otes in the senate. i will tell you mitch mcconnell will say harry reid did it in 2015. i will blow through the nuclear ption for the supreme court.
you destroy the whole process and it will be legislation. we have no input whatsoever. what oes around comes around. i can't be definitive yet. my ain concern is this. can i keep the 60 vote threshold? i will vote to support the 60 hold threshold. i will not go down to the 51 vote to neil gorsuch is also -- whoever you are replacing you are replacing scalia, justice scalia was a very conservative justice. there's going to be another one. hopefully not, but with the image and everything else, there could be another one within this four year term. i have no problem asking the uestion.
>> i am from fairmont west virginia. my story is i have a chronic condition, a pre-existing condition that significantly impacts my functioning. i require weekly infusions that before insurance would cost $20,000 per month. that far exceeds what i make annually. i require this to function. i could be significantly impaired to changes by the aca. but in the state we have horrible health isparities, chronic illnesses, we are a product of your environment. how are you going to make sure that the leader of west virginia's public health is honored and understood in washington so that when changes
come, they aren't going to egatively impact the state more devastatingly than it already has been. >> that is the reason we are all here today. you think our problems are bad now, they exacerbate the problems we have now. how do we get people healthier? let me give you the chips program. i went to washington and said give me a waiver. let me take care of my children a little bit of friendly. the program is basically the working poor. wegog cer their kids. if you're coming from a family that doesn't have an insurance guarantee you don't have routine maintenance. you re basically using it when you have to. so i said let me use that same amount of money and use it for k to five and eight.
let me do their bmi, do the complete workup on the job. we were doing things like that. a healthy person on medicaid does not need the same type of care that a very six -- a very sick person might need. if you are a healthy person on medicaid and welfare, i want you to go to your nutritional classes, i want you to exercise. you have to basically learn to live a healthier lifestyle. i can't elp the poor people that are so sick because the money is being used in different areas. we are going to have to put common sense into the health care. we are going to talk about single-payer. that is a
big thing. >> my name is richard steiner. i'm from fairmont. >> a lot of hometown eople. >> what i have read about the republican changes to the aca, they basically want to replace it with tax credits. and i'm here on behalf of some of my friends from mcdowell county. that county has the lowest life expectancy in the united states, one of the per median - one of the lowest median per capita incomes. how are they going to be able to afford health insurance of it relies on tax credits if they can't even make it? we know the aca, obamacare isn't working.
everybody can agree on that. nothing is what we agree n. >> it is working where it was intended to work. they would have never gotten out. you can't go back on that. it is the private market. no one wants to fix it. if you fix it you basically have told all your people who voted for you we are going to repeal it. i'm going to hold you accountable. deal with thing i can tow your is five hundred $75 billion of tax credits to the richest americans, they don't need it.
ut if we don't use that money that those tax credits would be given to them, if we don't use it wisely and make sure people are getting healthier and living a more productive life, then we have not done our job either. i'm going to talk about single-payer. who has the question on single-payer? i know you do. we might as well get right back. collect thank you for having courage because the others just didn't. are you aware of the house bill hr system? 677? it is a medicare for all bill in january in the house. no one knows about
it. sen. manchin: it's a shame, the bill comes over to the senate. >> it covers comprehensively everything you need and how to pay for it. it is medicare for all. sen. manchin: who pays? >> it is a 5% tax increase -- it's a 5% tax increase on the richest 5% of the country. i actually brought a copy of t. sen. manchin: this is something we need to talk about because i want to learn more about it. ingle pay canada, denmark,
sweden, u.k., they are all single. i said the same question people ask me, how do they pay for, who pays? we have to revamp our tax structure in america. nobody is even talk about 20 thrilling -- no he talked about the debt. this generation is going to pass it onto the kids and grandkids. let me take sweden. i couldn't believe this one. the taxable income from the first dollar you make, first dollar to 47,000, it is zero. but they have a local tax, so the overnment of sweden takes zero from one dollar to 47,000. everybody pays 20% on the first ollar they earn. if you make 47 to 67%, you pay 20% federal tax with a 28% local tax for
8% tax structure. that's not doable for us. u.k. has a better one. we don't know what their local taxes are, but zero to 5400 pays 10%. everybody pays something. everybody pays 10%. 5400 34,000. 161 and above is 45%. canada. zero through 45% is 15. the first dollar is 45 and 15% taxes. and comparison to the -- i'm willing to look at everything. f you have a healthy person, i ill refer back to when i was
overnor. i had all e hospitals come in. and they said governor, we are taking care of all of these people and you can't pay. your tax dollars, i had to jungle -- had to juggle money around. then orkers comp was 4 billion in debt. and the $4 billion was adding up. they were trying everything they could. didn't have insurance but they had to have workers comp. wherever they got hurt, they crippled back in and claimed a workers omp claim. it's the only thing they had. if you think that is a decent way to deliver and that's what republicans want to go back to, i sat on the front line and watched that. that's what we are fighting against.
if the -- if there is a way we can all agree the new tax structure is how we are going to pay for it, i'm fine. so we are looking at it. >> this is the third paragraph -- sen. manchin: i can write a bill and they to a score. the congressional budget office says that does what they say you have to do. we are happy to do that. >> i'm a new resident at morgantown. you and your two colleagues were invited. i anted to talk about -- the previous person asked the question that in 2012 the
supreme court voted on a ecision. these are unelected judges. there are other decisions come into the florida court. another decision that would gut the union's ability to fight for health care. but is completely unregulated. my question to you is judge kaushik -- a tragic gorsuch -- is judge gorsuch doesn't make commitment -- will you vote gainst them? sen. manchin: i can't say yes r no today until i talked to him. here's the thing, and i'm writing it on this but i'm playing it on this come the 60 vote would be destroyed more -- et's say i vote against neil
gorsuch. and he gets 59 votes. by the laws of the rules and send right now it is at 60. cconnell, senator mcconnell, mitch mcconnell, who it back up to vote on basically an option oing one votes. now if we hold it at sixth and eighth in a bash we have to be sure because 'm going to tell you one thing, right quick and prevailing wage, what our legislature has done is destroying the working person. nd i mean that. that is awful.
you are asking me -- they won't give us an answer. i would be hard-pressed to vote for him hat is for sure. > i am from morgantown. as a ormer labor representative i left the industry and 96 because with the amended clean air act we saw the downfall of the industry that was common. i took a different career path. he miners protection act isn't bailing out the minors, it is bailing out coal companies. i want to know why we do not adjust the bankruptcy laws and make pensions and health care the first creditors paid every ankruptcy?
sen. manchin: you are exactly right and basically that has come up with the onslaught of people having a national right to work. this is coming out of the forefront. liquid contraction and some legislation -- we are with some traction and legislation. the bankruptcy courts have allowed everyone to walk. i agree. i agree. you ready? you ready. >> hice senator manchin, i'm from west virginia. i do ppreciate you here. recently you explained on morning joe
why you have been so supportive mr.ruely. you stated you think him for that you thanked him for the west virginia coal ners. he said he was one of two's -- one of two democratic senators to approve scott pruitt for the epa. you stood by trump, allowing it easier -- aside from that, what are you thinking mr. trump for? trump are hurts coal miners. what is trump doing for coal miners? what do you support when you thank him for protecting the oal miners of west virginia? sen. manchin: i don't think there's any secret in this room i didn't vote for donald trump, i voted for hillary clinton. now with that being said, he got elected, he is our president. somebody asked me hen i was running, they said
what are you going to do if donald trump gets elected? i said i'm going to do the same thing if hillary clinton gets elected, i'm going to do my job. i'm going to do everything i can to make him the best president. i want my country to succeed and what -- and i want my stay to succeed. i was the chief executive of the state. i went to the state senate and said i'm going to bring a team on board. you might not know him, you might not like him. but if they can pass a background check, if they can do financial disclosure and an ethics probe, give them to me. i'm going to be there for four years. i have always tried. i always thought, you come and go with the executive. with that being said there's a few of
them i couldn't vote for. we will talk jeff sessions first. i voted for jeff sessions. i know that, i heard a lot of -- i heard from a lot of my friends about that one. we are proud of our environment. i would make my decision about what i knew about you versus what some but about you, that's just the way ias raise i knew jeff, i never saw one else of botry or racism. they talked about senator byrd the same way and i never saw any of that and senator byrd. i'm just telling you exactly what i know. i'm just telling you xactly what i know. now -- i aid jeff, step aside, step
aside jeff. when i say it as the only democrat who voted for him, they say he's just playing politics. he didn't vote for the guy. i said i voted for him, he let me down. i told jeff sessions this. if it is proven that you misled -- i would ask you to resign. scott pruitt basically passed the hree things. i note comes from an extraction stay. we are holding his feet the fire. he came up, he is knowledgeable. i want to talk about the extreme buffer rule. we are not going to. the clean water act is
still in place. basically -- i can take that. what it did, it ook all the authority away from the epa. and gave it into the first four regulations. i look at the duplicity and sometimes you weigh it down. there's got a be a balance between the economy and the environment. there's got to be a balance somewhere. that is all i am looking for. anyway we are going to hold this. they will be in violation and will be shut down. we all want clean
water and want clean air. some of us are going to do it a little bit differently. you just can't do it. i'm not for that, i want the epa to do its job area -- job. >> we are getting to the next uestion. >> i promise this would be a very respectable -- i didn't want to go back on my promises. >> i'm from west virginia. i wanted to thank you for protecting our health care and for thank you for voting gainst betsy devos. having
said that, the affordable care -- if the affordable care act is repealed, we will inevitably have more sick kids. couple that with e fahat west virginia public education is struggling with enrollment and finances, charter schools would take many quality teachers out of public schools. it would divert money from public schools to charter schools. this would be devastating for kids who are already arginalized. hr 610 makes my eart hurt for our kids and west virginia. education is there hope for breaking the cycle of poverty. our kids will be unhealthy and uneducated. what will you do to fight for health care for our kids and the fight for public education? west virginia. education is there hope for breaking the
>> that is the crooks of everything. when betsy devos came in, she's a fine woman. betsy, education and west virginia is more than reading, writing and arithmetic. it did place where they get their health care. there is so much more to public education. she passed the three test. when it comes to turning down the public education system and a person who has never been involved in that process or kids who have never been involved. that's all. and i told her it's not personal. i can tell you on that. a head
tart. we put morning that more money towards early childhood. we had energy express. i will share one quick story with you. when i go to your schools, your kids schools, i was -- i go to the cafeteria first. i was down in southern west virginia. the cook was crying. i said what re you crying yet she said these little kids are going to go hungry. i just wish we could be here all year long. so you have heard me talk about your long education, that is many of the reasons. we have to be looking at things differently. they've got nothing. and we are
going to fight for that. >> this is a follow-up with that same issue. > within the hr 610, the school voucher, the every student succeeds at -- succeeds act is at risk. and that allows children with disabilities to receive education and ccommodations statewide. how can you ensure us that every student succeeds act will still be available and viable for our children? >> that was another reason. we foot that bill. that is a ral
responsibility we have taken on. some people don't understand that whatsoever. the oucher system and the charter, i'm sure charter works in some areas. we don't have it. our ax structure is different. you redirect that dollar, you didn't add any more dollars to it. i can't not supported because i know how fragile our education system is. we have to continue to be vigilant. that's all we can be. >> thank you for being here.
foremost -- formerly from charleston. my question does concern the epa at 31%. many of >> i'm very concerned it's going to disrupt many of the programs. another area being cut is monitoring and enforcement. i worked for 32 ears for the department of environment protection under your administration, as well as four others. sen. manchin: we never cut it either, did we? >> no, we didn't cut it. what i want to emphasize is, and my role as an attorney for the agency, i often had to deal
with the epa in both nforcement issues and in getting the state water pollution control program. i helped write the laws and rules to make our west virginia standards conform to the minimum federal standards. i can tell you from personal work for 32 years that had it not been for epa, and i know you have had differences on what i ould consider minor, and the scheme of things, but what i am saying is, without epa, west virginia's inclination -- when virginia's implementation of the environmental program would ave been fledgling, at best. we need a strong federal agency, if this states environment will prosper. en. manchin: at the end, i got
to the point that i talked to our director at the time, that eyidn't evenave whatsoever -- any say whatsoeverthat's what they were telling me. >> that's not accurate. bottom line, it's critical that epa remains strong. sen. manchin: i support epa. i've want them to do their job and allow the are a core best the army corps of engineers to o its job. >> i would say the rhetoric going around about obama's war on coal, that that fosters -- sen. manchin: i know one thing, it took it out of the army corps and put it in the white house. i'm going to keep the epa, but i'm going to make sure they do their job. let's go. > senator manchin, thank you for being here this evening.
i'm from fairmont, west virginia , one of your hometown folks. my question regards your ealth care and that of the 534 other members of congress. >> you all are covered. you might know where i am going. sen. manchin: i'm fine, because i just found out about what my health care is. >> my question is, the congressional health care plan is something of a gold standard in the united states. sen. manchin: no, no, no. >> the point is, many of your constituents here believe that part of the problem is that many of the republican legislators do not really have any skin in the game. would you, should the american health care act reach the senate as it currently is, support an amendment is offered, --
support an amendment, is offered, to remove that program altogether so that the 535 members of congress could be in the same boat as the 24 million americans who would lose their health care? would you support that? en. manchin: let's make it very clear, this is a misnomer. his is what they call -- anyway, i pay $1000 a month. i'm on the exchange. bryant, ou will be on an exchange. tj, you're on the exchange. everyone that works for me is on the exchange. everyone things we get free health care for life. that is a bunch of malarkey. that is crazy. i don't know where this gets started. everyone things we get a paycheck for life. my
paycheck stops when i stop being a senator, and my retirement is not my full paycheck area my retirement -- my paycheck. my retirement is to present my paycheck. i don't know where all this happened. i'm paying the $1000 a month out of my check. i'm on the exchange, the d.c. exchange, because that's where our checks are written from. is anyone on the westirginia exchange? or is everyone d.c. exchange? if the thing changes, hh -- it affects all of us to. if you go down, all of us go down. that's he way it should be. >> i'm from hazelton, west virginia. i just really want to it on your voting record and ask, why do twice voted against the reimportation of fda improved from canada? sen. manchin: i didn't, i voted for it. no you didn't. sen. manchin: no, i don't think so. we will check it out
because i just voted. we had a vote. >> you voted previously against it. sen. manchin: not unless it was very nhl -- buried in a bill. if they were just opening the market without fda approval, i would be against you but if there is fda approval, i am for it. give me the copy of them. we are going to check it and get back with you. if i messed up, i am sorry. that's one thing bernie and i agree n. >> i'm not from around here originally, but i live in morgantown for 40 years, and i m a citizen. sen. manchin: bless you. do you have dual citizen? no, just the
one. you pick the right one. >> i grew up under the british health service. a grandmother who didn't pay any taxes, didn't have two pennies, spent weeks in hospitals on nothing. my father was treated effectively. my mother pays nothing and gets courteous, prompt service. is working well here. it is a socialized instrument. my problem with obamacare and anything being done here is it is only part of the issue. the other is the ast medical industry in this country, including the drug companies, but everyone is being paid hugely, and we can't afford it. can you do anything bout it? sen. manchin: here's the thing about it. they say all these big pharmaceutical companies, we are the only country in the world that prices drugs the way
we price them. we allow the private sector to negotiate discounts. that's crazy. the federal government should do that. it should be the private sector. with got two companies, three companies that all they do is the middleman. three companies. one company is bigger than coca-cola and at&t put together. they don't make anything. they just take the drugs from here and get a discount from the manufacturer and put it over here. we are the greatest shoppers in the world. when i was governor, we try to book -- we tried to put compare care so you could shop and get the best price. we on't do any of that. we do nothing to try to get the lowest price of delivery for quality goods. but when we shop, we go out and shop for everything else. we don't know how to shop for health care because the system won't let us. i'm trying to change it anyway i can.
>> this will be our last question before we wrap up. >> good afternoon, senator manchin. thank you for being here with us today. i wrote a plain vanilla like question on this white car, but anyone who here knows me, knows i can't ask it this way. i am so passionate about this subject i am going to throw the cart away and speak from my heart. i would like to talk to you about the way i feel about drugs from a very personal perspective. my name is pamela, i live in morgantown, but i worked in clarksburg and serve all of harrison county. i left a 30 care -- a 30 year health care career to have a new career as a child protective services worker for the state of west irginia. >> in addition to that, and you may already know this, i am a 13 year foster parent and a doctor's parent for the state of west virginia. the reason i tell you both of those things
is because i have parented 10 children in my home. of them, i have adopted eight. of those 10 children, nine of them came to my home from their families, and those families were all devastated by drugs. the other one child i parented in my home was devastated at the impact of mental illness. as a cps worker, most people know by conventional wisdom that we have ridiculous caseloads. my ridiculous caseload which i absolutely love and am passionate for is mo than 90% families that are devastated by drugs. yes, i am very concerned about the adults, the users that need treatment, and that are dying in unbelievable numbers in west virginia every day. i look like an adult, but i am really a skid -- really a kid. i am speaking for the children who are absolutely devastated by what is happening with substance abuse and ddiction. i absolutely implore
you to do everything in your power and to push hard against very difficult political tide to protect medicaid benefits that particularly include treatment for substance abuse and mental health, and to please protect any other funding or policy for those same very important issues. i hope you will do that. please tell me how. sen. manchin: let me make sure i understand. come here. you have nine children you've taken in foster care and adopted eight of them? >> i have parented 10 children and adopted eight. >> when i am not appear to promote that for myself. i am here for the wait is issue impacts families and kids.
thank you. sen. manchin: is the toughest hing we've got going. i know we are wrapping up in time. let me just say this to you. i'm a product of my environment. i grew up between the tracks and the creek. i think i was a privileged child because i had unconditional love. we didn't have anything. i'm proud of all my family because i saw what they taught us. i grew up, there was always rules. you had to work. no work, no eat. and you had to help everybody. my grandmother would stop and say a prayer if she saw someone disabled or handicapped or whatever. i just watched that. say, my politics is, i am fiscally responsible and socially compassionate. i'm never going to make a decision that i think would hurt any
person, not one human being. i might not make decisions the way you would want me to make them. i tried to listen to everybody. i'm never going to do anything that will hurt you. if i make a mistake and mess up, till the about it. i will go back and fix it. you can change your mind, you can't change anything. every time i get on television, i am so careful to understand how good we are. . i know the connotation in west virginia, we don't do it that way. we don't treat people that bad. we help people. we will reach out and take care of our neighbors. it's just the way we were raised. but it's got close -- but it's gotten so toxic, that if you don't agree with me, you must be my enemy. if you are republican, you are not my enemy. president trump is not my enemy. west virginians but it you. i didn't, they did. they need help. don't repeal the affordable care act. . repair it just -- repair it.
just fix it. and then we can fix the rest. the only thing i can tell you is this. i will give you everything i've got. my daughter, i am proud of my daughter. she started out 21 years of age working for a little company in a basement in the bottom of a trailer. she's been there for 25 years and worked her way to the top. only in america, i guess. these salaries are all out of whack everywhere. coaches, when i grow up, the coach could barely ake it. now the coaches, the administrators can barely make it and the students can barely make it. you can think any segment of society, it's all out of whack. and i have a number for the white house if you want to write this down. the white house switchboard is 202-256-1414. i really believe
that president trump should say, stop this. let's fix it. we know where it needs to be fixed. if you throw it out, politics are so bad, we can't fix it. i don't want to go down that road. i hope he would help s. 202-256-1414. you can get the congressional numbers, our colleagues numbers, get everybody. you got all 48 the congressional numbers, our senators that are democrats that absolutely will hold the line and not vote to repeal the affordable care act. all 48. we need a little bit of help. >> in the interest of time, that's all the questions today. we do have something small plan to give everybody in the room a voice. all of you have on your chairs a green and red card. we talked in the beginning about how downbeat -- how that would
be agree and disagree. i would sk all of you to take this out now. we will have a very brief lightning round, so to speak. the first one is going to be very easy. i think it will be very interesting for the senator to see the reaction. the first is, we will make this brief. the first is released -- the first is please raise your green card he would like to thank the senator for attending the townhall today. green or red for agree or disagree. green if you support repairing the aca, read if you support repeal and replace. ok. green if you would support a replacement of the aca, but only if it were to be for a standards and inspired single-payer health care
system. >> as we all know, tom price has become the new secretary of health and human services. senator manchin, i believe you voted against tom price. is that correct? raise your green card to agree with his vote of no on tom price and read to disagree. there is a tie etween the environment and health care, especially here in west virginia, where a lot of the bills go through a state legislature. scott pruitt, head of the epa, senator manchin voted for scott pruitt. please raise your green card to agree and red card disagree. -- and ed card to disagree. we also discussed the links between education and health care. betsy devos, secretary of education, senator manchin voted against. green for agree,
red for disagree. and finally, it pains me to say this, but president donald trump has been very strongly supporting this american health care act, along with many other bills i believe the majority of people in the through would disagree with. green card if you have significant concerns with senator manchin's approach toward the trump administration, red -- i'm sorry, read if you have significant concerns, green if you think that is the right pproach. i'm apologize, i made that very confusing. senator, i want to thank you for coming today. that was a little more than 50-50, but i just wanted the activity to give the people in the room of voice. we never had a chance to chat. i sincerely hope that you understand that your path toward reelection in 2018 does not go through donald trump. it
goes through the people in this room. >> and i would hope that you spend less time asking us to primary you and more time doing exactly what you have done today. thank you. sen. manchin: think you all. i can honestly tell you the bottom line is, there is so many things that distorted the whole election process. citizens united is the first to destroy our system with outside money. sen. manchin: next, everyone believes that every politician will do anything for a vote. i'm saying this as sincerely and honestly as i can tell you, i am going to do what i think is best for the state, and i am going to try to get a the best position to do what i can to help everyone of you all. it might not be the position you uld agreon, but if i can t myself iplace ere you can be heard, and i can make sure we know what they are doing for this great country and what assistance we need, i am going to do that. my
onsolation is this. if i don't get reelected, i did to come home and spend more time with you, and i am ok with that. hank you, god bless you. >> i want to thank everybody for coming. make sure you have filled out your contact sheets. if there are any cards, please get them to the people at the doors. thank you again for coming. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable atellite corp. 2016]
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