U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is known for taking courageous stands that do not agree with Democrat Party orthodoxy. Dedicated to his constituents, not President Barack Obama or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Manchin often seems to follow a model established by the late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.
Manchin could do an immense service to most Americans by leading the Senate fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
A first step already has been taken. Manchin has joined with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to sponsor a bill that would delay the so-called "individual mandate" in Obamacare. That is the rule ordering that all Americans obtain government-approved health insurance or pay stiff penalty taxes.
Many people would have to buy more costly insurance than they have now to comply with the mandate. Millions who have received notice their existing insurance is being canceled because it is not acceptable under Obamacare understand that.
What many may not realize is that they will pay dearly if they choose not to comply. The annual penalty tax often is referred to as being $95. In reality, it is $95 or 1 percent of a person's earnings, whichever is greater.
While Manchin is focusing on an aspect of Obamacare most people recognize as government intrusion in their lives, he appears to understand the law is deeply flawed in many respects.
Speaking to a reporter who asked about severe problems in "rolling out" the Obamacare website, Manchin had this to say: "They have more than a rollout problem. There is a product problem."
Indeed there is, and even though millions of people already have been given reason to dislike Obamacare, the surface has only been scratched.
As we have been pointing out for years, Obamacare's foundation is rotten. If it was such a good idea, why has the Obama administration granted over a thousand temporary waivers to unions, organizations and companies? Why has he granted many big corporations a one-year reprieve from compliance?
Within about a year, millions of employees of companies that provide them with health insurance will be getting the same cancelation notices individuals have been sent this fall.
Soon, older Americans will begin suffering from Obamacare's raid on Medicare funds to fund its other programs.
Without the individual mandate, Obamacare collapses like a house of cards. Why? Because the president - as he has admitted - is counting on millions of people paying more for their insurance in order to fund Obamacare's giveaways to others.
Most notably in fighting Obama's war on coal and reasonably priced electricity, Manchin has shown the kind of independence, loyalty to constituents instead of party, and courage too many lawmakers lack. Now would be an excellent time for Manchin to teach them another lesson in service by calling for the repeal of Obamacare.