Cramer’s Health Care Plan “The Wrong Solution” for Farmers

(BISMARCK, ND) – A recent report from the nonpolitical Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that skimpy health plans, the kind endorsed by Congressman Cramer and his Washington party bosses, “would be inadequate and unaffordable” and “would do more harm than good” to farmers and farm workers. Cramer has supported plans that don’t guarantee affordable protections for folks with pre-existing conditions, could increase premiums, and could allow insurers to impose an age tax on older North Dakotans. With two out of three farmers and ranchers reporting having a pre-existing condition, skinny health plans are the exact opposite of what farmers and ranchers need – but that doesn’t seem to bother Congressman Cramer.

From the report:
“The plans could deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, provide coverage to such people but decline to cover their pre-existing conditions, charge far higher premiums based on a person’s health status, age, and other characteristics, and leave out benefits such as maternity care and prescription drugs.

Farmers are more likely than the general population to buy their own insurance, perhaps because they are more likely to be self-employed and without access to an employer plan.  

In a survey funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2 out of 3 farmers and ranchers reported having a pre-existing health condition.  Skimpier plans are unlikely to meet the needs of this group.

As a statement from 16 patient groups including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association explained, expanding enrollment of skimpier health plans that are subject to weaker rules “has the potential to price millions of people with pre-existing conditions and serious illnesses out of the individual insurance market and put millions more at risk through the sale of insurance plans that won’t cover all the services patients want to stay healthy or the critical care they need when they get sick.”