It’s Enough To Make You Want To Bang Your Head Against The Wall


Earlier this week the reliably liberal Grand Forks Herald editorial board backed up Governor Jack Dalrymple’s push to accept Obamacare funding to expand the state’s Medicaid programs. That, in and of itself, isn’t surprising. The Herald‘s editorial board is dismissive of concerns over intrusive, expensive government and a champion of government interventionism in everything from the economy to health care.

But what is maddening is the Herald’s unquestioning repetition of Governor Dalrymple’s assertion that the funding for the Medicaid expansion comes at “no cost.”

Right now, voters have delivered the Affordable Care Act and made it the law of the land. They’ve affirmed this through the re-election of President Barack Obama.

If the law works, it works. If it proves too costly, it can and will be changed.

Meanwhile, North Dakota can in good conscience take part.

“In the end, it comes down to are you going to allow your people to have additional Medicaid money that comes at no cost to us, or aren’t you?” said Dalrymple a few weeks ago.

“We’re thinking, yes, we should.” That’s a prudent approach, and it’s one state lawmakers should follow.

If the Herald wants to argue for the implementation of Obamacare here in North Dakota (even over the protests of a majority of citizens who oppose the law), then fine. But shouldn’t that case be made on fact and not delusion?

Because I don’t think “delusion” is too strong a word to describe this assertion that federal money somehow comes at “no cost” to North Dakotans. Every single North Dakota taxpayer is also a federal taxpayer. The national debt problem is our problem too. There is no government spending that comes at “no cost” to us.

The obligation to pay for this Medicaid expansion will almost certainly be dumped on the states eventually, but even supposing the federal government maintains funding for it into the future, it’s still not a “no cost” proposition.

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.

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  • zipity

    It does come at “no cost to us”. The money will be harvested from money trees that grow wild here. And also, from the Unicorns that s**t silver dollars.

    See? Problem solved.

    Welcome to Liberal Wonderland….

    • slackwarerobert

      Or a warehouse full of obama trillion dollar coins. As long as the law has a sunset when the feds don’t pay I wouldn’t mind it as much. But with the scotus we have now, nothing is what it says, so no law is the only safe law.

  • reggy

    The GF Herald’s so liberal they’re agreeing with the leader of the North Dakota Republican Party.

    • Rob

      Who said the leader of the North Dakota Republican party is a conservative?

      • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

        I suspect Mr. Wrigley might be suffering in silence as a closet conservative but Mr. Dalyrmple is a big government, big spender RINO all the way.

    • mike

      The GFH only endorsed Republican candidates in the last elections. They got their marching orders from FCC. I’m not slamming either party…just stating a fact.

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    I’ll repeat what I said yesterday.
    We live in what is supposed to be a conservative state and we thought we elected conservative representatives.
    And yet there they are in Bismarck and all they want to do is hang on to billions in over-taxation, grow government and engage in various follies of social engineering and micro-management of aspects of life government has no business in.
    It is indeed enough to make you bang your head on a wall; or have a heart attack take your pick.

    • Eric Wittliff

      You may have slowly lost your way over Regan’s conservatism.
      People need healthcare. Affordable health care Act is trying to figure out how
      to pay for it all. The expanse of Medicaid will help the working poor. The
      issue is that we require hospitals to give healthcare even if you cannot pay.
      That is socialism bold. It was passed under Regan as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Even in the affordable health care act never passed we all would be stuck paying for unpaid bills. If you want to repeal
      something that you view as social engineering it would be the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Just be prepared if your family, friends, congregation, or constituents need care and cant afford it to whisper “I would let you die.”

      • sbark

        Govt intrusion into health care made the problems we have, more govt will make it worse.
        The Left always throws out some small percentage of society will be hurt…..well get a clue under ObamaCare the nation as a whole will be set back 50 yrs,……….and the the minor percent hurt by ObamaCare is already growing toward 10% as jobs get cut, employers drop medical ins and shorter hours become the norm.
        Dem’cats……..legislate with emotions, forget the end effects. Their Loyalty to the USA as a society has now dropped out of their top 10.

      • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

        Oh, right Mr. Wittliff.
        If I dare oppose your utterly preposterous, completely illusory, failed time-and-again in the real world fantasy of a utopia where everyone has free health care, free food, free cell phones and free rainbow ponies; paid for by magic money that doesn’t collapse the economy and bankrupt the country; THEN CLEARLY I MUST WANT TO LET PEOPLE DIE.
        In fact, it’s not enough for me to just tell them I would let them die; I literally want to strangle the breath from their lungs with my bare hands.
        You’re pathetic sir and your argument intellecutally cheap.

        • Eric Wittliff

          Mr Pfeiffer,

          Please use your insurance for better glass. No one is saying
          you want to strangle anyone or promote rainbow ponies.

          What causes the social dependence is society as a whole wanting to change things. In the same way we want fire protection as a whole we have agreed to pay for it. Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (emtala) passed 25 years ago was us saying we want minimal care no matter what.

          Rob and you are right in that it is not Free. This issue is
          how to pay for it. Apparently that cost big money (
          ). Right now we the tax payer or the people that pay for our services are still on the hook for the unpaid bills.

          Right now the affordable care act has been the only answer in
          25 years. If you think the Medicare expanse CAUSES the social dependence then you are wrong. It is the primal need for healthcare when we are sick and society saying we will give it. We need to answer how to pay for it.

          So do you want to find a way to pay for it or repeal EMTALA?

      • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

        FACT: Tens of Millions will remain unisured following the full implementation of Obamacare
        FACT: Obamacare already has, and will continue to, DRAMATICALLY increase the cost of health insurance to those paying for it.
        FACT: The expansion of Medicare will do nothing but create more dependency and speed up the collapse of the bloated entitlement ecosystem
        FACT: Sooner or later this “FREE” money will inevitably be withdrawn, trapping the state into crippling expenses in this new entitlement
        FACT: Obamacare was never about solving any health market issues; it was about creating centralized Federal Government control over the health market

      • slackwarerobert

        Which is why that law needs to be repealed. Now that everyone has insurance, we should not be forcing hospitals to treat criminals free of charge.

    • sbark

      I wonder if the NDSU football team would start collecting signitures for a Gov D’rymple recall petition?

      • jimmypop


  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    I should add the Governor’s decision to take this money instead of fighting and rejecting Obamacare every step of the way as a strong majority of his constituents wanted him to do is nothing short of a disgrace.
    When I heard about it I was beyond dumbfounded and demoralized. What’s the point of living in ND?

  • Gern Blanston

    It’s so sad. Levin can’t even remember our Governors name. He now just refers to him as ‘that jerk in North Dakota.’ Way to go Jack.

  • ladyknownaslou

    One cost will be the loss of new business in the state. Employers will seek states where their costs will be lower. This will have long-term ramifications in ND’s economy. Who knows? If enough businesses leave and few are foolish enough to locate here perhaps the Herald will itself go out of business. Wouldn’t THAT be too bad?

  • sbark

    Frustrating as h#ll when an idea like Dr. Ben Carters gets floated out………and summarilly disgarded.
    I hope Gov D’rymple doesnt farm like he governs………….do the same thing (Fed govt) because gran’daddy did it that way also….

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    How on Earth did our North Dakota predecessors survive 200 years without a free, expanded Medicade program?