Issue Position: Health Care

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2012

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as "Obamacare," and its mandate forcing individuals to purchase a good solely on the basis of their being alive is inherently objectionable and should be repealed in its entirety. It is not the role of the federal government to dictate what types of employment benefits private employers must provide -- or not provide -- for their employees. The decision to purchase healthcare insurance -- and what that insurance should include -- is a decision best left to individuals and businesses without government interference.

Far from improving our healthcare system, the new taxes and burdensome regulations mandated by PPACA are driving the cost of healthcare even higher for working families, and straining our healthcare providers and small businesses. Unless we repeal this legislation, North Dakota families are at risk of losing their current healthcare coverage and being forced into new government-run healthcare programs.

President Obama's ruling that all employers must provide insurance coverage that includes free birth control coverage does indeed infringe upon the civil and religious freedoms guaranteed to all American citizens in the Bill of Rights. Our religious institutions must be free to operate according to the dictates of their conscience and doctrines, or we run the risk of the federal government determining the standard of what is and is not acceptable religion. This mandate demonstrates a complete misunderstanding about what motivates people of faith to meet needs of communities. Free, faithful people, through their churches and religious affiliations, open schools, hospitals, missions, universities and other service oriented institutions because of a call on their hearts. To violate the same conscience which motivates that response, discourages the faithful which ultimately diminishes their drive to meet the need.

Americans deserve better from their government. I support repealing PPACA and working instead to reform healthcare through market-based solutions that empower patients and doctors, and malpractice reforms that protect consumers and incent healthcare providers to do the right thing.