To the editor,
In the waning days of North Dakota's 66th legislative session, Rep. Rick Holman, D-Mayville, offered an amendment to the insurance commissioner's budget to include a provision that says life and health insurance companies cannot utilize pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny coverage. The purpose of this amendment, I assume, was intended to protect the 316,000 North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions in the event that a federal appeals court overturns the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Bravo to Rep. Holman for introducing this essential amendment.
Unfortunately, the GOP majority decided to strip this language out of the bill during conference committee negotiations and instead opted to "study" the issue during the interim.
As a self-employed farmer, I am particularly concerned about the Republican Party's relentless crusade to overturn the ACA. Without the protections guaranteed under the ACA, my operation would likely lose half its workforce, as either my wife or I would be forced to seek off-farm employment to obtain health insurance. I'm not saying the ACA is perfect and shouldn't be reformed, but small family farms, like ours, depend on affordable healthcare just as much as we depend on the soil beneath our feet.
Rep. Holman puts working people ahead of party politics.