Does Anyone Actually Know What Senator Heidi Heitkamp Wants to Do on Healthcare?

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., talks to Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., during a Senate hearing. Must credit: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer.

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp talks a big game about being a centrist moderate who likes to work with Republicans.

That this desire to work with Republicans is more manifest the closer Heitkamp is to an election year in this deeply Republican state is noteworthy, and perhaps an indication that Heitkamp’s words are something less than sincere, but I digress.

When it comes to the healthcare issue, Heitkamp can’t seem to find a Republican proposal she likes. The latest Republican-backed plan for Obamacare is no different.

North Dakota’s junior Senator said the Graham-Cassidy proposal would “hurt families and rural communities across North Dakota by ripping away health care for many — just like the last Republican bill would have done.”

Heitkamp is essentially aping what ever other Democrat is saying about Republican proposals for health care reform.

So much for bipartisanship. (Senator John Hoeven is supportive of the Graham-Cassidy legislation.)

But I’m curious, what are Heitkamp’s ideas for reform? According to this report by my colleague John Hageman, Heitkamp is supposedly working on a proposal:

“Over the past few months and weeks, I’ve met with a group of Republican and Democratic senators, as well as governors, insurance commissioners, patients, and insurers, to talk about reforms to make the health reform law work better,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “There’s a great deal we agree on and I’m hopeful we can come together on some ways to make health care more affordable and accessible for families.”

Ok, but when?

Obamacare has been an issue – driving up insurance costs and hurting Americans – for the entirety of Heitkamp’s time in the Senate.

Heitkamp has been in office for nearly an entire six year term. She’s now started a re-election campaign which will implore North Dakotans to give her another six years in office.

Yet we still have to wait to find out what her ideas are for Obamacare, one of the biggest problems facing our country?

The time for Heitkamp to talk about this stuff is now. Not after the election (if she wins) and certainly not just before the election when the public would have little time to evaluate the proposal.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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