Senator Kent Conrad released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as the health care reform bill, that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The bill included Senator Conrad's Frontier Amendment that improves Medicare reimbursement for North Dakota providers, ensuring that North Dakotans continue to have access to high quality, low cost health care.
"I fully expected the Court to rule as it did - to end the debate and confirm that the health care reform law is constitutional.
"Health reform reduces deficits by more than $1.3 trillion in the second ten years of the bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It extends affordable insurance to millions of Americans. It strengthens consumer protections so no one can be denied coverage if they have a pre-existing medical condition and no one can lose their coverage just because they get sick. It extends the solvency of the Medicare program and ensures North Dakota providers receive fairer Medicare payments - bringing an additional $65 million a year to our doctors and hospitals to ensure that North Dakotans maintain access to high quality care. Finally, it begins the process of slowing the growth in health care costs.
"However, I have said all along that the law is not perfect. Now that the Court has ruled and this debate is over, we should work to eliminate provisions that don't make sense, improve on others, and add common sense provisions that can further control costs and improve patient care outcomes."
Senator Conrad vowed to work with his Senate colleagues to improve the existing law.