Dem-NPL, Insurance Commissioner comment on upcoming Affordable Care Act lawsuit


Supreme Court arguments for a case that could strike down the Affordable Care Act are set for one week after election day. This comes as concerns mount regarding the ACA’s future following President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett , who is considered conservative, for the Supreme Court.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has gotten the state involved in the multi-state lawsuit, and now, Democratic-NPL members are speaking out.

California v. Texas involves multiple states on both sides — North Dakota is one of 18 representing those opposed to Obamacare. Tuesday, the Democratic-NPL held a press conference with speakers concerned about the outcome of the case.

Krisanna Holkup Peterson, a candidate for the State House, says she would be personally affected if the act were invalidated.

“He should’ve really looked at how this is going to affect us all. If you look at your family — like my whole family has a pre-existing condition. All of us pretty much do. To take that away from people, it’s a sinking ship,” Holkup Peterson said.

Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread says regardless of the case’s outcome, it would take time before changes were set into motion. He says health insurance should be left to state-level decision-makers, not the federal government. Godfread added that North Dakota lawmakers are currently working on legislation to protect those with pre-existing conditions, should the act be struck down.

“When you look at the farmers, the ranchers and the small business owners, those are the individuals who simply earn too much to receive any kind of support or subsidy, and those are the folks really at jeopardy of losing their health care, being priced out of that marketplace,” Godfread said. “So I think when we talked about North Dakota joining this lawsuit, it was with those individuals in mind, and how do we make sure we’re supporting those individuals, too. I think we can do that at the state level.”

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the case, Nov. 10.

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