ACA supporter: ND Legislature put roadblocks in place to make Obamacare fail

Nov 13, 2013

One of the North Dakota Legislature’s most vocal supporters of the federal Affordable Healthcare Act – dubbed “Obamacare” – says the legislative majority leadership set up the law for failure.

Sen. Tim Mathern (D-Fargo) says all one needs to do is look at the signups in North Dakota – compared to the sign ups in Minnesota.

"In Minnesota, thousands of people are signing up," said Mathern. "In North Dakota, they aren't. Had we worked together in a partnership with the federal government, this would be a different situation."

Minnesota is running its own health care exchange, while North Dakota left it in the hands of the federal government.

Mathern says there’s still time to get more North Dakotans who are eligible to enroll in the ACA. He says the state needs to do a better job of helping people get on the Web site and pick the right plans.

"I've been working with people who run 211," said Mathern. "That organization is now going to have on its Website and in the information system the names, addresses, telephone numbers of all the navigators. Those are the individuals and organizations that are supposed to be helping North Dakotans with the marketplace Website."

The state Insurance Department reports that so far, only 30 people have signed up for the new plans. However, the companies offering insurance through the exchange say they expect sign-ups to increase as the deadline approaches.