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​One, two, three strikes, you’re out

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | September 26th, 2017

Afl-cio President Waylon Hedegaard and member Andrew Buschaw, indivisible members Cheryle Schaafle and Karen Halsa before Hoevens office in Fargo - photo by C.S. Hagen

Republicans fail again to repeal and replace Obamacare

FARGO – If major league baseball rules applied to government, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act struck out Tuesday afternoon.

Although the current administration’s latest attack against what has come to be known as Obamacare seemed doomed to fail for the third time, after three Republican senators defected, the AFL-CIO and Indivisible FM marched on a state senator’s office an hour before the bill’s failure to drive home the point that not everyone in the state agrees with local leaders.

A day before the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill failed, Sens. Bill Cassidy R-LA, and Lindsey O. Graham R-SC, the architects of the bill, were frantically scrounging for the 51 votes needed for the bill to pass. Worries over Medicaid cuts and the millions of people who would lose insurance drove the Republican’s third attempt to failure.

So far, the Grand Old Party has accepted little to no bipartisan cooperation, as they’ve consistently met behind closed doors, springing new bills onto the public with only days leading up to a vote.

Hoeven followed the party line and issued a statement Tuesday saying he would vote in favor of the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill.

Indivisible members protesting Trumps third attempt to repeal current health care laws - photo by C.S. Hagen

“Obamacare has raised health care costs and limited choice, which is why we’re working to provide relief for American families,” Hoeven said in a press release. “The legislation repeals and replaces Obamacare and helps restore the ability of Americans to choose the health care coverage that best fits their needs.”

Hoeven reported North Dakota would receive in excess of $1 billion between 2020 and 2026 if the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill was passed. Senator Heidi Heitkamp D-ND, said the bill was reckless, and would lead to larger numbers of uninsured Americans with fewer people able to access Medicaid, a “lifesaver” for seniors, children with disabilities, and low-income families.

CNN reported on September 22 that North Dakota would lose between 10 to 15 percent of its funding if the bill were passed. The Washington Post reported North Dakota, along with other states, stood to lose from 35 to 60 percent of federal funding. Media outlets ABC News, CNBC, and AOL News reported the bill failed, and the Republican Party issued a statement saying the party would not vote, effectively killing the repeal push for the foreseeable future.

“The lack of good government just appalls me,” Waylon Hedegaard, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, told Alex Finken, Hoeven’s state communications director. “We’ve wasted six months hammering a square peg through a round hole.”

Time and time again President Trump’s Administration has tried to dismantle his predecessor’s healthcare reforms, and yet while politicians on both sides of the aisle realize further changes are needed, there has been little to no bipartisan cooperation since its first failure.

“We need to do this as a country, and not as a party,” Indivisible FM member Cheryl Schaefle said. “We need to step back and work with insurance companies and big pharma as well.”

State communication director Alex Finken comes into the entrapment to speak to the AFL-CIO and Indivisible - photo by C.S. Hagen

A total of four representatives from Indivisible FM and AFL-CIO waited to speak to Alex Finken while inside what they called an entrapment, a stifling, narrow room, with a glassed-in window resembling a prison reception room more than a senator’s waiting room.

After making a complaint to Finken about such a cold reception, Finken said the room was designed and finished in July, and was built in such a way due to added security concerns. 

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