Dakotans for Health expands focus

Former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is part of Dakotas for Health, which is focused on maintaining provisions of the ACA.

“I am profoundly disappointed in the decision to outsource our healthcare interests to a courtroom in Texas,” former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Dorgan is one of several spokesmen for Dakotans for Health, a group focused on maintaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

“Texas vs. U.S.,” the multi-state lawsuit over whether or not the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, has been Dakotans for Health’s primary concern for several weeks. Concerns expanded Tuesday to include the American-Chinese trade conflict.

“I don’t have a problem with President Trump saying there needs to be more fairness in issues of trade, but he’s going about this in all the wrong ways,” Dorgan said.

The president’s helter skelter approach, Dorgan continued, is not only hurting North Dakota manufacturers but farmers.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, R-N.D., entered the state into “Texas vs. U.S.” In August, he held a press conference with Republican leaders including U.S. Senate candidate and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

Stenehjem’s office did not respond to requests for a response, the Fargo Forum reported.

“Before Obamacare, 8-10 percent of North Dakotans were uninsured,” the North Dakota Republican Party stated in August. “Today, that number remains relatively unchanged at 8 percent, demonstrating how Obamacare has failed in the state.”

Repealing the Affordable Care Act eliminates many things North Dakotans depend on, Dorgan said. It includes expanded Medicaid and the ability for young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.

Throughout the election season, Republicans and Democrats have heavily discussed support for pre-existing conditions.

Cramer, the Forum reported, said he favors a patient-centered healthcare plan that lowers premiums for all Americans and keeps pre-existing condition protections.

“It’s sort of illogical to say you really like those kinds of protections when you’re trying to kill the Affordable Care Act,” Dorgan said.

Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, R-N.D., has stated his support for “Texas vs. U.S.” Dorgan questions the logic behind Godfread’s support.

“If you’re going to consider getting involved in this, who did you consult?” Dorgan asked. “Did you have a vote? Take a poll? It doesn’t look like that to me.”

With midterm elections in 40 days, look to Daily News Media for updated coverage of North Dakota and Minnesota’s campaigns, candidates and items under consideration.

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