FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 9th, 2019
What’s their Plan?
However, in true North Dakota fashion, there was an out from this catastrophe. In April of this year, with bipartisan support, Rep. Rick Holman (D-Mayville) successfully included an amendment in the Insurance Commissioner’s budget that would ensure that North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions will be covered by their health insurance provider. 33 House Republicans voted no on the bill, with Rep. Dan Ruby (R-Minot) stating on the House floor they “didn’t like” the preexisting conditions’ language.
North Dakota’s own Insurance Commissioner, Jon Godfread, used his political capital to overturn the amendment and replaced it with a “study.” This move should come as no surprise since Godfread supported North Dakota entering into the original lawsuit seeking to overturn the ACA. He even admitted to assisting the Attorney General’s office in the lawsuit.
North Dakota Republicans’ disdain for protecting people who need health insurance is nothing new. In 2016, Doug Burgum ran on opposing the ACA, featuring ads calling it “terrible for North Dakota”. Last year, Lt. Governor Brent Stanford attended a Republican Party press conference representing Governor Burgum that defended North Dakota’s involvement in the lawsuit.
If this lawsuit is successful, protections for as many as 133 million Americans living with preexisting conditions will be gutted. Key support for rural hospitals will subside. Additionally, insurance companies will no longer be required to cover prescription drugs and maternity care and will be able to reinstate their lifetime caps on coverage.
“North Dakota Republicans like Doug Burgum and Jon Godfread have been attacking the ACA for years and have not come up with any viable alternative that will cut costs and protect pre-existing conditions,” said Alison Jones, Communications Director for the Democratic-NPL Party. “Worst yet, they don’t seem to realize how their decisions affect not only those in North Dakota but across the nation.”