Plain Talk: Protecting patient choice, and a North Dakota Democrat switches sides

Dr. Duncan Ackerman, a Bismarck-based orthopedic surgeon, joins this Plain Talk episode to discuss legislation protecting independent care providers. Also, a North Dakota Democrat switches sides.


MINOT, N.D. — The American system for health insurance and care is broken. There are no two ways about it. We pay too much and get too few choices.

How much can North Dakota's lawmakers do about it? Not a whole lot, but there are things they can do to keep it from getting worse. House Bill 1416 would stop insurers from using price pressure to convince North Dakotans to opt-in to health insurance plans that freeze out independent health care providers.

Dr. Duncan Ackerman, an orthopedic surgeon and a spokesman for North Dakotans for Open Access Health Care, joined this episode of Plain Talk to discuss the issue.

Also, on this episode, guest co-host Jamie Selzer and I discuss the push in the Legislature to put another term limits option before voters , one that alters the term limits amendment they just approved last year.

We also talk about former U.S. House candidate Mark Haugen's decision to leave the Democratic-NPL and join the NDGOP. Haugen's House campaign ended after party big wigs pressured him to bow out in favor of former Miss America Cara Mund, an independent candidate who was a late entrant to the race.


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Secretary of State Michael Howe is asking the group to make an amended filing within 10 days.
"I'm an atheist, and even I'm shocked about the level of anti-religion antipathy this legislation has engendered."
"Yesterday term limits activists filed an ethics complaint over what they say is an unreported contribution to a lawmaker. Today it seems they have a significant discrepancy in their own finances."

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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