Letter: Sen. Heitkamp exhibits the type of leadership we need in Washington
In his letter to the editor posted to Inforum Sept. 7, Jeff Miller argues that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp does not represent our best interests. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Jeff makes two points, both of which are inaccurate. First, he argues the current health care law is causing premiums and deductibles to increase. This problem long predates the current health care law. True, increasing costs are a problem we must fix, but considerable evidence — for example, a 2016 Brookings Institution report by Loren Adler and Paul Ginsburg — shows that premiums and deductibles would be skyrocketing with or without the current health care law, and in fact would be much worse without it. The current law blunts the impacts of these increases by expanding access to the insurance market and offering subsidies to lower- and middle-income folks who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford insurance.
Second, Jeff claims that "in some parts of the country there are no providers participating in the exchanges." This is 100 percent false. It's true this was a problem at the beginning of 2017; however, as of August every county in the country has at least one provider participating in the exchanges according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
There's no question that the current health care law is imperfect. However, it's also true that at every turn, opponents of the 2010 health care reforms have been undermining them through lawsuits, blocking funding, refusing to participate in exchanges, and in many other ways. It's like deliberately pulling out the railroad ties and then saying the train was bound to wreck all along.
Heitkamp has been fighting for common sense fixes to the current health care law. She's been working across the aisle to find ways to lower costs, improve quality and accessibility of health care for all North Dakotans. That's the kind of leadership and consensus building we need more of in Washington, DC.
Thank you, Sen. Heitkamp, for faithfully representing our best interests.
Rennich lives in Bismarck.