There’s no question that Obamacare is bad policy. It has been hugely unpopular from day one. Here in North Dakota it had calamitous political repercussions for Democrats, costing former Congressman Earl Pomeroy his job and no doubt contributing mightily to the decisions to retire by former Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad.
So it is interesting to watch how North Dakota Democrats reacted today to the Supreme Court’s King vs. Burwell ruling. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, specifically, said just about the most tone deaf thing you could possibly say about it (emphasis mine):
“Today’s Supreme Court decision confirms that ripping away health insurance from those who already have it isn’t the way to accomplish needed reforms in the Affordable Care Act,” Heitkamp said. “Now, let’s get to work to improve the law in a targeted way.”
“Ripping health insurance away from those who already have it,” is quite an ironic thing to say given that over 35,000 North Dakotans lost their existing health insurance policies because of Obamacare.
“According to the North Dakota Insurance Department, 35,585 North Dakotans were pushed off their existing insurance policies thanks to the federal health insurance policy changes, a number amounting to roughly 80 percent of the individual insurance marketplace,” I reported in February of 2014.
The Associated Press reported today that 14,115 people are currently receiving subsidies for their health insurance and would have lost those subsidies had the King vs. Burwell decision gone the other way. That’s just 40 percent of the number of people who actually lost their existing health insurance policies thanks to Obamacare’s individual mandate becoming law.
Yet, Heitkamp didn’t seem all that concerned about those people losing their existing policies.
Meanwhile, here’s the new executive director or the North Dakota Democrat party covering himself in glory:
North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party Executive Director Robert Haider echoed Heitkamp’s words: “After two Supreme Court decisions and nearly 60 attempts by Republicans to repeal the law, it’s clear that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. We hope that Republicans will join us in good faith as Democrats work to improve the law so that more North Dakotans have access to affordable, quality health care.”
So Republicans should become Democrats to help Democrats improve Obamacare?
You can tell the talent pool for Democrat operatives in North Dakota is about as deep as a puddle.