(BISMARCK, N.D.) – Senate Democratic-NPL Leader Joan Heckaman (D-23) and House Dem-NPL Leader Corey Mock (D-18) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Burgum’s decision to include continued funding for Medicaid expansion in his executive budget proposal:

“As we review and evaluate the details of Gov. Burgum’s executive budget proposal released last night, we are encouraged by the governor’s decision to include continued funding for Medicaid expansion, which is absolutely critical to ensure access to affordable health care for tens of thousands of North Dakotans,” said Heckaman. “Eliminating this funding – as some have proposed – would mean doing away with health coverage for more than 18,000 North Dakotans, an outcome that would be detrimental for so many of our fellow community members, neighbors and loved ones.”  

“Failing to continue funding for Medicaid expansion would mean taking away health coverage from thousands of North Dakotans in rural communities across our state,” said Mock. “It would compromise much-needed funding for rural hospitals and health clinics, and it would make it more difficult for rural North Dakotans to access the services they need when dealing with serious, and sometimes life-threatening ailments like cancer and opioid abuse.”

“Of course, we have many concerns about the details included in the governor’s budget, especially when it comes to cuts to education, a nursing home tax that shifts costs onto senior citizens, and the lack of an inflationary adjustment for Medicaid providers,” added Heckaman“Nonetheless, we are encouraged by the governor’s inclusion of continued funding for Medicaid expansion, and we remain committed to working with Gov. Burgum and our colleagues in the legislature to make sure we get it right when it comes to solving North Dakota’s budget crisis.”