Bismarck, ND– Republican leaders today gathered at the Bismarck Farm Bureau location to dispute Democrats’ false claims and to reaffirm their position regarding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pre-existing conditions. Despite repeated fear-mongering attacks from Democrats, Republican leaders made it clear they have always supported the inclusion of coverage for pre-existing conditions in healthcare reform and that the current state of healthcare does not benefit North Dakotans.
Congressman Kevin Cramer, Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread and State Senator Kelly Armstrong all spoke in support of keeping pre-existing conditions available but reiterated that Obamacare is failing North Dakotans.
Before Obamacare, 8 to 10 percent of North Dakotans were uninsured. Today, that number remains relatively unchanged at 8 percent demonstrating how Obamacare has failed in the state. While more individuals may be covered under Medicaid, the rising costs of healthcare, which have doubled in four years, have only made it more difficult for those who do not qualify for Medicaid to afford insurance, including farmers, ranchers and small business owners.
The participants of today’s press conference issued the following joint statement:
“Democrats continue to push a big lie and we can’t stand for it. The only group talking about eliminating coverage for pre-existing conditions are the Democrats. There is no denying, the current state of healthcare needs fixing, and every Republican proposal that has been advanced has included guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions. We need a system that covers all North Dakotans, and that doesn’t shift the burden of rising premiums to our farmers, ranchers and small business owners.”
Speaking in support of Republicans were two North Dakota farmers and one small business owner. Tom Christensen of Verona and Weston Dvorak of Manning are both farmers and Marv Miller owns Twin City Roofing in Mandan. They all shared their stories or how rising premiums due to Obamacare has made it difficult for them to afford insurance for their families or employees.
Republicans pointed out the fact that the Comprehensive Health Association of North Dakota (CHAND) has always – and will continue to cover high risk North Dakotan’s. Additionally, under Graham Cassidy the state will not only receive more money to fund the high-risk population, but providers will have more flexibility in how they deliver healthcare.
Leaders also reiterated that Obamacare is unconstitutional, and that North Dakota will continue to participate in the federal lawsuit challenging that fact.