Sen. Hoeven criticizes severe cuts to Medicaid in private meetings; but will he stand for North Dakotans?

(BISMARCK, ND) – Democratic-NPL executive director Robert Haider issued the following statement in response to the revised Senate Republican “health care” bill revealed today:

“Senate Republicans are scrambling to salvage their deeply unpopular health care bill. Unfortunately, rather than returning to the drawing board and seeking truly bipartisan solutions that protect North Dakotans, they’ve chosen to maintain their goals of dismantling Medicaid, gutting protections for patients, and making people pay much more for worse coverage. Even under their revised plan, tens of thousands of North Dakotans and millions of Americans will lose their health coverage, and that is simply unacceptable. 

“Senator Hoeven has reportedly criticized this approach behind closed doors. But when push comes to shove, will he protect North Dakotans by voting against this terrible legislation, or will he fall in line with his party’s leaders and vote to rip health coverage away from thousands of North Dakotan families?

“North Dakotans who are deeply worried about the impacts this legislation can’t afford to wait and see as Hoeven ‘reserves judgment.’ They deserve to know where Hoeven stands.”        

In a private meeting with Republican colleagues, Sen. Hoeven reportedly criticized the bill’s provisions that would eliminate Medicaid expansion and dismantle traditional Medicaid. Over 90,000 North Dakotans receive health care though Medicaid, including 36,000 North Dakota children.   

The revised Senate bill maintains Republicans’ goal of dismantling Medicaid, allows health insurers to offer even skimpier coverage, and offers a meager increase in funding to fight opioid addiction, which according to medical professionals falls far short of what’s needed to address the crisis.