While Heidi Heitkamp Plays Partisan Politics Obamacare Is Hurting North Dakotans


Senator Heidi Heitkamp provides Chamber members a Congressional update as she wraps up her first year representing North Dakota in the United States Senate Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at the North Dakota State College of Science Skills and Technology Center in Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum

With Republicans in the Senate pushing yet another (faltering) attempt at killing off Obamacare, the liberal left has cranked up their noise machine. Here in North Dakota the Democrats have cranked up their noise machine, coordinating letters to the editor and social media campaigns. Even Senator Heidi Heitkamp has cast aside her carefully cultivated “centrist” persona to take pot shots at the Republican plan. She said the “new Republican health care bill would hurt families and rural communities across North Dakota by ripping away health care for many.”

That’s not true, as Senator John Hoeven pointed out in rebuttal. The Graham-Cassidy bill, doomed though it may be, only takes away health care from people if you ignore the part where the legislation funds states to solve that problem for themselves.

Anyway, while Democrats foam at the mouth about threats to health care access both real and imagined, what’s being ignored is the heavy toll Obamacare as taken on Americans in terms of cost.

According to Americans for Tax Reform, right here in North Dakota there were some 17,000 households – most of them at the lower end of the income ladder – which got stuck paying millions in taxes because of Obamacare:

This is just one aspect of the financial hit Obamacare has represented to Americans generally and North Dakotans specifically. Not accounted for here is the rise in healthcare and health insurance costs spurred by that misguided policy.

Heitkamp talks a good game about wanting to “tweak” or “fix” Obamacare (which sounds suspiciously like wanting to paint the trim on a burning building), but what specific changes has she proposed? What reforms is she backing? Because right now all we can see is partisan resistance to Republican proposals.