Yes, North Dakota politicians are threatening insurance protections for pre-existing condition. Some have made repeated attempts to accomplish this but have failed due to public outrage. Now facing that outrage again during an election and as a Republican lawsuit threatens to strip away protections, they’re trying to convince voters otherwise. Don’t buy it. Six years of action speaks louder than eight months of political speak.
The attempts to remove and diminish protections for pre-existing conditions, reverse Medicaid expansion, and whittle away at essential health benefits has been a consistent part of Kevin Cramer’s congressional record. Though he claims the sixty plus times he voted to accomplish that was merely “symbolic” he has made it abundantly clear it is what he believes. Accusing patients with pre-existing conditions of trying to “game” the system coupled with his votes is a clear indicator. No amount of paid political advertisements can change those facts.
After failing to successfully throw out those federal protections and change Medicaid into a less effective block-grant program through legislation, Cramer has now fully supported a lawsuit to do just that through the courts. North Dakota’s Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem signed the State of North Dakota’s name onto a lawsuit in Texas. That lawsuit is backed not only by Cramer but Congressional hopeful Kelly Armstrong. If successful, those protections are gone. The lawsuit explicitly says they will be gone just like the repeal bills Cramer supported in Congress. Period.
There is no guarantee the State of North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner who backs the lawsuit, the Governor who backs the lawsuit, nor the Legislature would work to reinstate protections once they’re thrown out. This is why what is happening in Grand Forks right now is so important. A group of North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions filed a lawsuit against Wayne Stenehjem. The claim is Stenehjem broke North Dakota law in allowing attorneys from Texas to basically represent us. Mike McFeely of Forum Communications broke down this news yesterday. As I have pointed out repeatedly here, we don’t have answers as to who “asked” Stenehjem to join the lawsuit. Regardless of that answer, patients will feel the effects.
These same politicians can hold rushed press conferences orchestrated by paid political consultants to “set the record straight” all they want. It is not what they say, it is what they have done. The desperate spin in an election year shows they’ll literally say anything. They cannot run from what they’ve done, nor the facts.
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