“I have repeatedly said that there is good and bad in the health care law, and we need to improve it,” Senator Heidi Heitkamp said in a press release today. “One improvement needed is to make it as simple as possible for our businesses to comply. I applaud the Administration for delaying this requirement until there is a system in place that is workable for businesses. I will continue to reach out to North Dakota businesses and push the Administration to take their concerns and priorities into consideration.”
Those comments do jibe somewhat with then-candidate Heitkamp’s election-year stance on Obamacare, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard her specifically mention that the business mandate is a problem.
She has criticized the individual mandate, and made vague allusions to “red tape” businesses. “There are some serious problems with the law like the federal mandate requiring you to buy health insurance and way too much red tape for small businesses,” she said in March of 2012.
Of course, those election-year comments contrasted sharply with her enthusiastic support for Obamacare when the law was being debated in Congress. As Politico wrote in 2012, “There isn’t evidence [Heidi Heitkamp] raised concerns about the health care law until she was a candidate for Senate.”
Despite overwhelming opposition to the legislation from North Dakotans, Senator Heitkamp opposes repeal. What criticisms she has made of the law have been vague, and inconsistent.
The employer mandate was such a problem that the Obama administration had to postpone implementation for a year. Yet, this seems to be the first time Senator Heitkamp has ever been critical of that mandate specifically.