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Latest health care bill hurts North Dakota

The repeal and replace men are back. U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy are making one last desperate try to repeal the Affordable Care Act or ACA. Without hearings or public comment, they are attempting to hurry and pass it before the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office speaks.

They weren’t quite quick enough. Avalere Health, a consulting firm, now reports that the bill would greatly cut Medicaid funds for 34 states, including North Dakota. Interestingly, those 34 states tend to be the ones that were responsible and used the Medicaid funds made available by the ACA. Even before this report, the Graham-Cassidy bill was opposed by nearly every health care organization.

So why are these senators so desperate to pass something, no matter what? I believe that the problem for Republicans in Congress is simply that the ACA is commonly known as Obamacare. Of course, they are the ones that gave it that name. (I wonder if they are sorry now?) In fact, the ACA is basically a Republican/conservative program to begin with. It was Romneycare in Massachusetts before it was Obamacare. But they must repeal and replace it now to take one more swipe at President Obama.

The ACA has beneficial provisions and has resulted in many more having health insurance.  However, health care is complex (who knew?) and the ACA needs some improvements.  Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is taking the rational and ethical approach of working with others for a bipartisan solution. Fix the existing law. Change the name if the Republicans can’t handle “Obamacare”.

It would be good if our other senator, John Hoeven, would join in a bipartisan solution also and stop voting with the Obama haters.