Podcast: Democratic House Candidate Mac Schneider Declines to Say if He’d Have Voted for Obamacare

U.S. House candidates Democrat Mac Schneider, left, and Republican Kelly Armstrong debate on Saturday, May 5, 2018, during the North Dakota Newspaper Association's annual convention at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck. David Samson / Forum News Service

We talked about his recent debate with Republican opponent Kelly Armstrong and the impression many observers got (notably myself and columnist Mike Jacobs) that the two candidates didn’t really do much to contrast themselves. Schneider says he disagrees with Armstrong in several areas mentioning the expansion of corporate farming, Trump’s trade tariffs, and the state’s expansion of Medicaid under the Obamacare policy.

“I’m not going to play those games,” he said. He did add that he wouldn’t vote to repeal Obamacare, but would be interested in reforming it.

One place where Schneider wasn’t specific was whether he’d have voted for Obamacare had he been in Congress at the time. At first Schneider dismissed this as a “hypothetical,” but I pointed out that federal legislation from 2010 was hardly that at this point. I also pointed out that Schneider himself was involved in state-level policy making in the Legislature reacting to Obamacare. When I asked Schneider again if he’d have voted for Obamacare he, again, demurred.

“I’m not going to play those games,” he said. He did add that he wouldn’t vote to repeal Obamacare, but would be interested in reforming it.

Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread was also on to talk a push his office is making to identify state-level reforms which could fix some of the problems Obamacare is causing in the individual health insurance marketplace. Josh Dryer from the ballot measure campaign to legalize recreational marijuana also gave an update on his group’s progress. He says they’ve collected over 11,500 signatures so far.

Here’s the full audio of today’s show. If you can’t listen live, get the podcast.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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