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Get the Facts ND

Cramer supports coverage for pre-existing conditions

Sep 21 2018

Democrats using scare tactics for political advantage
Media calls attack ads inaccurate and misleading

Let’s be clear, Kevin Cramer has consistently supported adequate and affordable coverage for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.  He has actively worked on this issue in the House of Representatives and supported – and even co-sponsored – legislation to uphold coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Kevin understands our healthcare system is broken and Obamacare has not worked. Skyrocketing premiums has made this disastrous legislation anything but affordable. 

Furthermore, he is on record as supporting a solution that moves decision-making and funding out of the hands of D.C. swamp-monsters and diverts it to the states to come up with ways to provide better coverage that matches what its citizens need.

He has talked about a solution that could be something like the Graham-Cassidy health care reform legislation. This state-centric approach would provide North Dakota with more money and more flexibility, plus more local control to meet healthcare needs of North Dakotans including low-income individuals. An alternative like Graham-Cassidy would expand health care savings accounts, provide an additional $700 million to North Dakota, and ban discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and prohibit annual or lifetime caps.

Throughout this Senate campaign, Sen. Heitkamp, and surrogates supporting her campaign, have been perpetuating a big myth about the Republican stance on healthcare and pre-existing conditions. The claim that Kevin Cramer, and Republicans in general, are wanting to pull coverage from the most vulnerable among us is ridiculous. Democrats, and Heitkamp, have been trying to convince North Dakota voters to believe that if Obamacare is repealed or overturned, nearly half of the population of the state – nearly 300,000 people – would lose insurance coverage because they have pre-existing conditions. This claim is irresponsible.

Here are the facts that quickly prove that number is false:
  • 84 percent of North Dakotans receive health insurance through an employer or are covered under a government program like Medicare or Medicaid. Federal law mandates that employer and government health care plans must cover pre-existing conditions. Any changes to Obamacare will have no impact on that population.
  • Another 8 percent have individually purchased insurance through Obamacare. Only a portion of these individuals have pre-existing conditions whose coverage is guaranteed by Obamacare and these individuals have the option to seek affordable coverage through Comprehensive Health Association of North Dakota (CHAND). In addition, Republican solutions to replace Obamacare all have had priorities placed on continuing coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • The final 8 percent of North Dakotans are uninsured because they don’t qualify for assistance and can’t afford the high premiums. It’s worth noting the GOP plans – like Graham-Cassidy – would make it easier for these individuals to obtain coverage by increasing the attractiveness and stability of the individual market.
The claim that 300,000 people with pre-existing conditions are at risk of losing their health insurance should Obamacare be overturned or repealed by Congress is an absolute fabrication and has been debunked by several media outlets. 

It’s quite clear the math doesn’t work and the Heitkamp campaign’s ridiculous attack on Kevin Cramer grossly exaggerates the number of people impacted by any changes to Obamacare. This attack is clearly designed to create fear among those with pre-existing conditions in a cynical attempt to sway North Dakota voters.

No reasonable person or politician wants to eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions nor do they want to create a system that permits insurance companies to charge those with pre-existing health issues more money. 

Obamacare has not worked and needs to be repealed and replaced with a system that works for everyone including those with existing health concerns. Obamacare represented a one-size-fits-all solution that created more problems than it fixed.  Alternative plans like Graham-Cassidy return healthcare decision-making to the states where leadership can build programs that work for the people of the state.

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