Heitkamp Localizing Health Care Politics
Heidi Heitkamp has taken a novel approach to dealing with a tricky issue in the North Dakota Senate race: President Obama's health care law. Back in June, the Democrat was the first candidate to run a television ad directly addressing the controversy, defending parts of the law and saying there were also bad elements in the bill. And lately, she has taken another unique approach to defending the bill: Singling out one piece of the law that is applicable to North Dakota and arguing that it won't pass again if there's full repeal.
Heitkamp's June ad was her first major foray into health care, and came at a time when outside groups were attacking the former Attorney General over her past praise for the president's health care law. "I would never vote to take away a senior's health care or limit anyone's care," says Heitkamp in the ad. "There's good and bad in the health care law that needs to be fixed. But Rick Berg voted to go back, to letting insurance companies deny coverage to kids or for pre-existing conditions."
Lately, Heitkamp has added a new, North Dakota-centric aspect to her message on the health care bill.
"There's a lot of fixes that need to be made to health care reform, but the reason I would not vote to repeal health care reform is I would not want to lose the Frontier Amendment," Heitkamp said on the campaign trail in mid-July, according to the Minot Daily News.
Then, in a meeting with the Fargo Forum editorial board, Heitkamp told them that "the single reason why I would not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act is the Frontier Amendment."