Port: Something fishy is happening with legislation aimed at protecting your health care choices


MINOT, N.D. — Sanford is an acquisitive health care giant that is seemingly out to own every hospital in our region . Sanford also offers health insurance, and has begun offering plans, at a discount, which lock you into only using Sanford medical services.

You can choose non-Sanford care, but your Sanford-issued insurance policy won’t cover it. Some are defending this, pointing out that the Sanford-only plans are cheaper, and save businesses money, but Americans live with a health care system that is broken in no small part because of how few choices they can make about their care.

Do we believe that giving them fewer choices is going to fix anything?

Before the Legislature in Bismarck is House Bill 1416 , introduced by Rep. Dwight Kiefert, which would prevent vertically integrated health insurance/health care companies such as Sanford from freezing out independent care providers. The independents would still have be within the geographical region where the insurance plan is offered, and they’d have to be “willing and fully qualified to meet the terms and conditions of participation, as established by the health insurer.”

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