North Dakota Hasn’t Caved To Obamacare Yet

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News that Florida Governor Rick Scott, until this point a staunch opponent to Obamacare, capitulating on the expansion of Medicaid is frustrating. The Republican governors – including North Dakota’s own Jack Dalrymple – who are waving the white flag in this matter are taking a short-sighted view.

Yes, the states will get federal dollars in the short term, but the feds will almost certainly withdraw those funds once the program is entrenched, pushing its cost onto state budgets. And yes expanding Medicaid helps protect businesses from having to pay penalties for uncovered workers in the short term, but in the long run it’s helping to implement a health care law that hurts the entire economy by inflating costs and burying businesses in red tape.

Governors like Scott and Dalrymple are taking the path of least resistance, and there aren’t any good excuses for it.

But it’s worth remembering that North Dakota hasn’t capitulated yet. Dalrymple’s proposed expansion of Medicaid was slipped quietly into his budget and must still be approved by the state legislature.

As of last month Republican members of the state house were telling me that the expansion won’t pass. Now House Republicans are still saying it will pass, but they sound decidedly less certain. Groups such as the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce and others are putting a lobbying campaign behind the expansion as well.

One thing is certain, if Republicans pass the Medicaid implementation there won’t be a lot of reasons to keep voting for Republicans.

What good is a Republican majority if that Republican majority goes along with implementing a government take over of health care? Obamacare is what give Republicans two of North Dakota’s three seats in Congress. They campaigned against it and won.

Now they want to help implement the law? That’s a serious breech of trust which ought to cost them some elections.

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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  • sbark

    There is a reason Medicare signup looks enticeing right now, there is a reason just paying the ObamaCare fine is about 10% of the actual premium of 20,000/ family right now…………there is a reason ObamaCare doesnt really kick into full force for another 4 yrs……….
    We are being led like a donkey with a carrort on the end of a stick…….with a few pieces of silver held in front of our noses right now, with massive costs to states in the very near future……….
    ……..good thing Measure 2 was defeated huh….that way the masses in the big cities can always access a “steady” source of free stuff funding…….

    • dakotacyr

      And people who need healthcare coverage will get it. Get over it.

      • John_Wayne_American

        in the end it would be far cheaper for the state to just pay those folks premiums than assemble the monster that is OrwellianKare.

        • wj

          That may be an option, but it would have to be done with the dollars from the Medicaid expansion.

      • Kevin Flanagan

        Who is going to supply the healthcare?

      • sbark

        They didnt need “coverage”……anyone could walk into a ER and get actual treatment whenever needed………
        The young people in this country, who didnt even buy your precious “coverage” now are going to be forced to……..just to subsidize the older, high users of healthcare………and then 25 yrs from now, they will get traxed to hell on top of it.

        • dakotacyr

          Right, and I have to pay for it. I’d rather they get coverage to go to a doctor and not use the ER rooms.

      • whowon

        We already had HC for the poor through State and federal programs. Guessing those programs will go away and the same people will be put into a medicaid program that does NOT cover what they were getting. Don’t know why so many of you don’t get it. Costs will go up for EVERYONE and care will go down.

  • dakotacyr

    Of course there is. Scott claimed his change of heart had to do with his single mother and his brother with a life threatening illness and didn’t want to do that to mothers in Florida. Other Republican governors will do the same thing. They are falling one by one.

    He realizes that Obama will be president for the next 4 years and that Obamacare is the law of the land. He’s moving on… is Dalrymple and the other Republican governors who have caved.

    • Rob

      Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that we don’t have the money to expand Medicaid.

      Let’s screw the coming generations of Americans to buy ourselves some more “free” health care now.

      • Kevin Flanagan

        I’m still waiting to know where all this new health care is going to come from.

    • Roy_Bean

      “….He realizes that Obama will be president for the next 4 years and that Obamacare is the law of the land. He’s moving on….”

      Does this mean that the democrats realize that the 2nd amendment has been the law of the land for a whole lot longer than Obama Care and that they are going to give up and move on?

      • dakotacyr

        Nice try. apples and oranges.

        • VocalYokel

          “apples and oranges.”
          Very true…I have perused the Bill of Rights several times and there is nary a mention of socialized medicine anywhere.

  • flamemeister

    NDCC: Federal Government Fellow-Travelers.