WASHINGTON, June 29 -- The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued the following news release:
In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision yesterday, Rick Berg is trying to hide his long record supporting loopholes for insurance companies to kick North Dakotans off their health care plans. The Washington Post reports that Berg's spokesman told a North Dakota newspaper yesterday that Berg now supports the part of health care reform law that "closes the donut hole, and doesn't deny coverage for pre-existing conditions." But Berg, by his own admission, has voted dozens of times to dismantle and repeal the law that included those provisions, and even as recently as last week told a partisan crowd he wanted "the whole thing... 100%" to be thrown out.
"Rick Berg is using partisan Washington double-speak to hide his support for creating new loopholes for insurance companies to kick North Dakotans off their health plans," said Nathan Click, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Rick Berg has voted to allow insurance companies to discriminate against North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions, young people, pregnant women and cancer patients. Rick Berg even voted to force seniors to pay hundreds more for prescription drug coverage and even voted for a partisan budget that would end the Medicare guarantee for North Dakota seniors. Now, Rick Berg is trying to make North Dakotans forget that he wants to allow insurance companies to discriminate against North Dakotans and cover up his long record. "
By his own admission, Berg has voted dozens of times to dismantle the law that included protections that stop insurance companies from kicking young people off their parent's health care plan. His votes would have created new loopholes to allow insurance companies to consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition and allowed them to once again kick cancer patients off their plans. Berg's votes would have forced the average North Dakotan senior to pay $554 more on average each year just for prescription drugs.
"Whether he is trying to cover up his votes to end the Medicare guarantee for seniors or the dozens of times he tried to create more loopholes for insurance companies to discriminate against patients, Rick Berg is playing partisan games with North Dakotans health care, and that's simply not right," added Click.
Berg's Spokesman Claimed He Supports Measure That "Closes The Donut Hole, And Doesn't Deny Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions" The Fargo Forum reported, "Specifically, Berg's congressional spokesman Chris Pack said Berg would favor "fiscally-sustainable bipartisan health care reform that occurs in an open process to protect our most vulnerable residents... We need bipartisan health care reform that contains a frontier states provision, closes the donut hole, and doesn't deny coverage for pre-existing conditions," Pack said. [Fargo Forum, 6/28/12]
Berg's Office Says He Has Voted To Dismantle Health Care Reform Over 30 Times, Some That Would Take Away Protections For Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions, Re-Open Medicare Donut-Hole [Fargo Forum, 6/28/12]
* Repealing Health Care Reform Would Re-Legalize Allowing Insurance Companies to Drop Coverage for People with Pre-Existing Conditions. In March 2010, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that six months after the Health Care Legislation is signed, health plans would be prohibited from excluding children who have preexisting conditions. In 2014, this prohibition would be extended to adults. That year, insurers would no longer be allowed to set annual limits, rescind coverage, or impose excessive waiting periods before coverage starts. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/22/10]
* Repeal Would Make Millions of Seniors Pay More for Prescription Drugs. In March 2010, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Medicare seniors with Medicare prescription coverage prior to the signing of the Health Care Legislation must pay out of their pocket for drug spending that falls between $2,830 and $6,440 because of the "doughnut hole" in the Medicare law. Seniors who hit this "idiosyncratic feature" this in 2010 would get a $250 rebate. In 2011, the gap would be reduced through a discount on brand-name drugs. By 2020, it should be eliminated, although seniors would still have to pay 25 percent of their prescription-drug costs. As of June 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that approximately 4 million seniors would get the 2010 rebates for falling into the doughnut hole. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/22/10; cnn.com, 6/07/10]
* Re-opening the Medicare Donut Hole Would Cost The Average North Dakotan Senior $554. [Healthcare.gov].
TNS MJ88-120630-3933709 StaffFurigay