Cramer, Hoeven continue blocking ‘health care’ bills from public scrutiny

Senior GOP official on why they won’t make their bill public: “We aren’t stupid.”

June 13, 2017

(BISMARCK, ND) – Rep. Kevin Cramer was instrumental in authoring the House Republican ‘health care’ bill behind closed doors, refusing to let the public see it, preventing consideration of amendments from across the aisle, and ultimately passing the bill without an official score from the Congressional Budget Office. None of this should come as a surprise considering the bill would dismantle protections for pre-existing conditions, leave 23 million more Americans uninsured, and drive up premiums for North Dakotans by injecting instability into the marketplace. 

Now, as the Senate works on its version of the bill, Sen. John Hoeven is following Cramer’s example. Like Cramer, Senate Republicans are drafting their ‘health care’ bill behind closed doors, and announced they “have no plans to publicly release it.” Asked why they won’t make their version of the bill public, a senior Senate aid told reporters: “We aren’t stupid.”

In the latest twist in Republican efforts to shield their so-called ‘health care’ bills from public scrutiny, it was today reported that U.S. Capitol reporters “have been told they are not allow to film interviews with senators in hallways, contrary to years of precedent.”

Responding to Cramer and Hoeven’s attempts to overhaul the nation’s health care behind closed doors, Democratic-NPL executive director Robert Haider released the following statement:

“Kevin Cramer set a dangerous example when he led the effort to dismantle protections for pre-existing conditions, once again allow insurance companies to gouge working families, and slash funding for Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars. Now, Senator Hoeven is following suit. We should all be asking: If Cramer and Hoeven’s health care proposals are as good as they claim, why must they resort to such drastic measures to prevent public scrutiny? And, if these proposals are as harmful as every single independent analysis shows, how can we trust Cramer and Hoeven to do what’s right for North Dakotans?”

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Republican ‘Health Care’ Bill Would Leave 23 Million More Uninsured, C.B.O. Says: “A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the House this month would leave 14 million more people uninsured next year than under President Barack Obama’s health law — and 23 million more in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. Some of the nation’s sickest would pay much more for health care.”

Under Kevin Cramer’s ‘health care’ bill, insurance premiums in North Dakota will increase $794 – $871 in North Dakota next year: In its recent report, the CBO found that health insurance premiums would increase by an average of 20 percent in 2018, after which premiums would become highly volatile from state-to-state as markets become destabilized. In North Dakota in 2018, that would mean average increases in premiums of $794 – $871 for individuals who are roughly 40 years old, according to pricing data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.