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Sen. Tim Mathern, Published January 14 2011

Build on health care act to make it better for ND

We talk much (and spend billions daily) about our worldwide military presence protecting freedom, but we should also consider the freedoms Americans have and work to protect them.

Health care reform gives families the freedom from worry about losing their insurance or having it capped if someone is in an accident or becomes sick.

It frees Americans from insurance companies that deny women health insurance because they are pregnant, or refuse to provide coverage to children who are born with a disability.

It gives parents the freedom to provide health coverage for their children until they are 26.

It gives people the freedom to change jobs without worry about losing their health insurance.

It gives seniors the freedom to get free preventive care, lower cost prescriptions and Medicare.

Health care reform gives small-business owners the freedom to compete with large employers. It provides tax credits to make employee health coverage affordable and increases their purchasing power through competitive health insurance exchanges.

These freedoms are only possible because of the federal Affordable Care Act. Lobbyists are working overtime with Republicans in Congress to return to the days when insurance companies were free to do whatever they want.

I use my time in the Legislature to make health care reform work for North Dakotans. All of us need to tell Congress to move on and give families freedom from the anxiety of medical cost bankruptcy and family stress from health care problems. Don’t repeal what we have – build on it to make it better.

Congress needs to create jobs and keep health care reform in place. We can do better than to have soldiers fight for the freedom of others only to come home to no job and no health care insurance for their family.

Mathern, D-Fargo, has served District 11 in the North Dakota Senate since 1986.