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Letter to the editor: Headland on target about health care


My colleague Rep. Craig Headland was spot on with his commentary (“Free market essential to health care system” in the Sept. 6 Sun) on the state of the American health care system. I couldn’t agree more on the negative impacts a government-run, single-payer system would have on North Dakota and on the country as a whole, including the incredibly high costs. As we move forward, Headland and I will continue to advocate for common-sense solutions to address the challenges facing our health care system.

Headland also makes a critical point about the impacts a government-run health care system would have on rural hospitals and clinics like the ones in Jamestown and the surrounding areas. Rural hospitals and clinics could be reimbursed at artificially low rates in an attempt to mitigate the high costs of a single-payer system. If rural hospitals are not reimbursed fairly, they could be forced to close their doors, cutting off critical access for local residents.

The vast majority of North Dakotans receive their health care through their employer or through Medicare or Medicaid. In fact, as Rep. Headland accurately stated, over 90 percent of North Dakotans have health insurance.  Upending our current system in favor of radical policy proposals like single-payer would force North Dakotans off of plans they enjoy and would put important decisions about health care in the hands of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., who have never stepped foot in North Dakota.

(Grueneich, a Republican, represents District 12 in the North Dakota Legislature.)