Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp Quietly Hints At Backing Obamacare Delay


North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp likes to position herself as a moderate, but during the government shutdown she worked hard with the rest of her Democrats on “shutdown theater.” The intent of that theater was to make the shutdown as painful as possible for Americans, in order to wound Americans.

But now, after joining her fellow Democrats in turning up her nose at an offer from Republicans to delay Obamacare and avoid a shutdown (something that, frankly, would have left Democrats in a better position now than pushing ahead with what has been a disastrous roll out) Senator Heitkamp is quietly moving toward backing a delay.

Not through any sort of a press announcement on her website or anything as high-profile as that, but rather on her brother’s radio station website. From

FARGO (KFGO-AM) – Senator Heidi Heitkamp has joined a growing number of Democrats who are considering a possible delay on imposing penalties for people who haven’t purchased health insurance.

Some Democrats and Republicans want to extend the sign-up deadline because of widespread problems with the government’s health care website. Heitkamp says she’s discussing the possibility of supporting legislation for a delay, but has made no firm decision as of yet.

I suspect the delay has less to do with Heitkamp making up her mind than it does with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – who directed millions to Heitkamp’s 2012 campaign – making up her mind for her. With Heitkamp not up for re-election until 2018, this won’t be a vote she’s allowed to decide for herself.

If Heitkamp does ultimately back a delay – and it seems as though the number of Democrats backing it is reaching critical mass, especially when every Senate Democrat running for re-election in 2014 on board – she should face pointed questions about why worked so hard to wound Republicans during the shutdown fight when it was clear that the delay they were offering was much-needed.

She probably won’t face those questions, but she should.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

  • What Does the Fox Say?

    Oh she’s a “Democrat Senator”? Thanks for pointing that out in the headline, wouldn’t have known otherwise.

    I also like the subtle word adjustment the right has used in the last 20ish years or so to move the Democratic party to the Democrat party to make it sound more like bureaucrat.

    • Rob

      Well, Heitkamp is a democrat. I know she tries to avoid that title, but she didn’t exactly shun the nomination.

      Sorry for being factual, I guess?

      And Democratic, in this context, is grammatically incorrect. Democrat is a noun, and the name of the party. democratic is an adjective, and refers to a type of governance. Heitkamp, thus, is a Democrat Senator. She’s also democratic.

      • Eliot

        Not factual at all. Just snide. Heidi is in fact a Democrat (a noun). She is not a Democrat Senator (adjective). She is a Democratic Senator. In the same way that Sen. Hoeven is not a Republic Senator.

      • Eliot

        What kind of senator is she? A democratic senator or a republican senator. Plus, it is standard courtesy to call people by the names they choose to call themselves.

        • Roy_Bean

          It’s also standard courtesy to allow aging WW2 vets, who likely won’t live to make another trip, to visit the memorial that they paid for. Heidi and every other democrat Senator should be ashamed.

    • Jl

      Really? Well I like the subtle word adjustment the left has used, and keeps using, to move “global warming” to “climate change” and now to “severe weather events”. But nice try.

  • whowon

    Thank God Heidi and the others snubbed their nose at the Republican idea, it would only have helped them. Asking for one now? Simply laughable.

    • Eliot

      Thanks so much Republicans for trying so hard to help Obama.

  • Zodiac

    Forum Communications likes to hint that Cramer is controlled by Eric Cantor. I wonder if they’ll write anything about Senorita’ Red Head being under the control of the increasingly unstable Harry Reid?

    • Rob

      That doesn’t fit the narrative they’ve decided on.

  • yy4u2

    The delay was needed but her handlers and the upper echelon of Dems wouldn’t allow that to happen. She was posed the question by ‘the other side’ but chose to follow her leaders and not those people, her constituents, whom this real disaster (not the fake ones like closing down open air monuments) will affect. Typical progressive.

  • headward

    If she does vote to back the delay, why did she hold the government hostage with the shutdown? This is a question that needs to be answered.

    • Eliot

      Why are you lying to yourself? Neither Heidi nor any other Democrat wanted to shut the government down.

      • headward

        Why did they not pass the CR that delayed Obamacare by 1 year? The democrats shutdown the government because they didn’t want to delay it.

      • LenYol

        Sure they did. Why else would the dems reject every resolution presented by the GOP to keep the government open? Some they rejected without even knowing what was in them.

  • Vugg

    “Obama is going to be amazing, and Obamacare is going to be amazing !” Heidi H. i still can’t believe ND voters sent obama, reid, and pelosi a gift like Heidi to the hard left.

    • awfulorv

      Not to mention the many wins the Vikes would now have were she in her rightful place, anchoring the interior line…

  • Eliot

    A delay of a month or two in imposing penalties or extending the sign-up period is completely different from the Republican attempt to undermine Obamacare by delaying the actual sign up process for a year. Surely you are smart enough to understand that distinction.