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David Nather Jan 5, 2017
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Republicans shouldn't count on Joe Manchin's help on Obamacare

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia tops most Republicans' lists of gettable Democrats, but not on Obamacare. In a conversation with Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Wednesday, Manchin says he told Pence he's not about to vote for repeal without negotiating a replacement first. "I told him it was the wrong approach," Manchin told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday.

Why it matters: Manchin made a point of not attending President Obama's meeting with congressional Democrats on Wednesday, insisting that there should be a bipartisan solution to Obamacare. So if he's not on board, Republicans have a tough road ahead.

Yes, but: Manchin says Pence promised to try to help him solve a different health care issue close to his heart: a pension and health fund for retired coal miners that's in danger of default.