Senator-Elect Heitkamp Conspicuously Absent From Group Of Democrats Opposing Obamacare Tax

heidi heitkamp

Eighteen Democrat Senators, including 16 who voted for Obamacare in the Senate as well as two Senator-elects, have signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking for a delay in the implementation of a 2.3% tax on medical devices, calling it a “job killing tax.”

That this tax was a hotly debate part of the law that most of these Democrats voted for should not go overlooked. That repealing this tax would exacerbate the already heavy impact Obamacare will have on the budget deficit also shouldn’t be overlooked. But I digress.

What’s interesting is that North Dakota Senator-elect Heidi Heitkamp didn’t sign the letter.

Back in October, during her campaign against Republican Rick Berg, Heitkamp was for changing some parts of the law (though she, like all of these Democrats, opposes repeal). Specifically, Heitkamp has said that changes need to be made to tax elements in the law.

Well, how about this tax on medical devices which will not only harm the economy, as the Democrats who signed the letter point out, but will also raise the cost of care once the price of this tax is passed on to health care consumers?

That Heitkamp would be silent on these issues of at least reforming, if not repealing, this horrendous legislation isn’t surprising. Remember, Heitkamp was an unequivocal supporter of Obamacare before she started her campaign for the US Senate. “There isn’t evidence [Heidi Heitkamp] raised concerns about the health care law until she was a candidate for Senate,” Politico reported in back in March.

The doubts Heitkamp expressed Obamacare were never anything more than a campaign ploy intended to ingratiate herself to an electorate that, by overwhelming margins, opposes the law. It’s a certainty, now that she’s been elected, that she isn’t availing herself of opportunities to reform it despite campaign promises.

Rob Port

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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