Billed as a press conference to “set the record straight,” Cramer, Armstrong, Stenehjem, and the ND GOP try to push an about-face narrative while still supporting dangerous policy proposals for North Dakotans’ health care
(BISMARCK, ND) — Today, North Dakota Republicans held a press conference where they attempted to walk back years of attacks on North Dakotans’ health care, especially for people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t take much digging to see that this heel-turn on health care is nothing more than election-year damage control.
Congressman Kevin Cramer, Senator Kelly Armstrong, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Lt. Governor Brent Sanford, and Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread allclaimed to support people with pre-existing conditions, but let’s look at their record:
Cramer followed the orders of his D.C. bosses and voted to repeal or undermine current health care law 65 times, despite there being no viable replacement that would provide North Dakotans with affordable, high-quality health coverage. He has continued to refuse to work on bipartisan solutions for reforming health care law, preferring to side with health care extremists to advance his own career than stand up for the people of North Dakota.
As a State Senator, Armstrong voted against the bipartisan Medicaid expansion in North Dakota pushed by Governor Jack Dalrymple that has helped almost 20,000 people gain health coverage in the state. Additionally, Armstrong is on the record supporting a Texas-based lawsuit that would remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions and end Medicaid expansion.
Speaking of the lawsuit, Wayne Stenehjem doubled-down on his support for the litigation brought by the Texas Attorney General that he cosigned on behalf of North Dakota. Despite the talk of wanting to protect people with pre-existing conditions, the Stenehjem-backed lawsuit would wipe out those protections potentially leading to unaffordable health care costs and loss of coverage.
“The North Dakota Republicans can see that they are losing the argument when it comes to health care. Instead of doing the right thing and working to fix what is wrong with the current law, they have chosen to try and rewrite history and paper over their failings,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “Claiming that Kevin Cramer, Kelly Armstrong, and Wayne Stenehjem are for keeping protections for the over 300,000 North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions is a ridiculous statement if you look at their record. It’s clear that the ND GOP’s candidates will say anything to advance their careers. Unfortunately for them, North Dakota’s voters will remember who has attacked their access to affordable health care, and who is standing up for it.”