Senator John Hoeven joined me on my radio show today to talk about healthcare reform.
The Senator has indicated support for the latest version of Republican-flavored reform, the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill. The gist of the bill is that it replaces Obamacare’s stringent, top-down, federal-centric regulations with block grants and flexibility for state policymakers to tackle health care.
Hoeven’s North Dakota colleague, junior Senator Heidi Heitkamp, has ripped the bill.
She said the “new Republican health care bill would hurt families and rural communities across North Dakota by ripping away health care for many,” adding that it cut $211 million from health care in North Dakota by 2026.
Hoeven called those claims “scare tactics.”
“It doesn’t take away health care,” he told me. “I think we’ll have more resources and more funding over the ten year timeline.”
“As for coverage ripped away,” he continued, “that’s just not the case. Under this bill we eliminate the mandates but the exchanges stay in place.” He said that will allow time for “the legislatures to act” in the various states.
“How can coverage be ripped away from anyone when the programs stay in place?” he added.
Hoeven said that pre-existing conditions would continue to be covered under the Graham-Cassidy bill, and that it would reduce federal spending by $134 billion over 10 years.
Here’s the full audio of today’s show. You can listen live Monday through Friday from 1-2pm (12-2pm starting next week) on WDAY 970 AM and 93.1 FM, stream the show online, or subscribe to the podcast and listen whenever.