Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s Aug. 16 op-ed that in the Bismarck Tribune rightly put the spotlight on preexisting conditions, and the Department of Justice’s recent announcement that they would no longer defend, in court, critical health care protections for those with these types of conditions.
Protections for those with preexisting conditions remain one of the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act. A recent survey conducted by Hart Research Associates found that 66 percent of Americans disapprove of this move by the Justice Department.
Nearly four in 10 North Dakotans have a preexisting condition, along with over 130 million other Americans under the age of 65. These conditions range from arthritis to anxiety and depression to even pregnancy. Those who have such conditions deserve access to affordable care, and that starts with the ability to buy insurance that they can manage to pay for. The 300,000 North Dakotans with preexisting conditions rely on the current law to protect their ability to purchase health insurance.
Heitkamp is right to focus on working with her colleagues from both parties for solutions to the challenges our health care system faces. We must urge our policymakers to build upon the successes of our current health care system — such as protections for those with preexisting conditions.
Carol Sawicki, Fargo