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Where's Hoeven On Health Care Reform? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 18:00

Where's Hoeven?

Reasons Governor Hoeven Should

Tell North Dakotans

His Position on Health Care Reform *

Day 1.  The Economy:  With skyrocketing health insurance premium rates and health care costs, any health care reform legislation that passes in the U.S. Congress -- or the absence of health care reform -- is going to have a significant impact on the economy of the United States and the economy of North Dakota.   (Friday, November 20, 2009)

Day 2.  Bankruptcies:  Because 540 of Governor John Hoeven's constituents go bankrupt every year because of health-care related costs.  (Saturday, November 21, 2009)

Day 3. Health Insurance Costs:  Because North Dakotans have been subjectetd to 74% premium increases between 2000 and 2007. (Sunday, November 22, 2009)

Day 4. Lack of Insurance.  Because 58,000 of his constituents in North Dakota are currently uninsured. (Monday, November 23, 2009)

Day 5. It's his job.  The executive branch in North Dakota -- which is run by Governor Hoeven -- administers programs that would likely be directly impacted by health care reform.   Medicaid and SCHIP are examples.  (Tuesday, November 24, 2009)

Day 6. I am one of his constituents.  I am one of his constituents.  He might not like that fact, or me.  I'm not his biggest fan either.  But -- like it or not -- I'm one of his constituents.  I would like to know where he stands on Health Care Reform.  I asked him.  I deserve an answer.  (Wednesday, November 25, 2009)

Day 7.  You are one of his constituents.  You care about North Dakota.  You care about public policy issues.  Whether you agree with stuff we write here at NorthDecoder.com or not, you seek out information.  You hunger for information.  You want to know where John Hoeven stands on Health Care Reform.  You have a right to know.  (Thursday, November 26, 2009)

Day 8.  Intelligent people have opinions about health care reform.  Was it Justice Clarence Thomas who -- at his confirmation hearing -- was asked if he'd ever talked about his opinion about Roe v. Wade?  I think so.  I think he essentially claimed that -- although the controversial opinion was decided while he was in law school -- he never really thought about Roe v. Wade?  That was just unbelievable.  Thomas was and is a bright man.  Of course he talked and thought about Roe v. Wade.  Has Hoeven ever thought about health care reform?  Of course he has.  As noted above, it's something that would have a huge impact on his job as Governor.  (Friday, November 27, 2009)

Day 9.  He's polling on it.  Let's be honest; this ridiculous poll that was released by Zogby was obviously done by and/or for John Hoeven. He or his people wanted to take the temperature to see how North Dakotans feel about "Obamacare" (some fictional, demonized concept that doesn't really exist, but that's being sold to Western North Dakotans by the Bismarck Tribune).  He obviously thinks its an important issue.  That being the case, he should tell us how HE feels about it.  (Saturday, November 28, 2009)

Day 10.  Republicans are apparently against "dithering."  Although Dick Cheney's administration dithered about Afghanistan, and made crap policy decisions when they didn't dither, Republicans are now apparently against "dithering."  That being the case, John Hoeven should stop "dithering" about health care reform and tell us how he feels about it.  (Sunday, November 29, 2009)

Day 11.  Hoeven should not want to appear to be an opportunist.  If Hoeven just sits back and takes no position on health care reform, a few months from now he can stick his finger in the air and see how the polls look regarding HCR, and can then take a position on health care.  There's a word for people who do this, and it's not "leader."  It's "opportunist."  Unless Hoeven is an "opportunist," he should tell us how he feels about health care reform.  (Monday, November 30, 2009)

Day 12.  Portfolio.  If Hoeven wants to have any kind of meaningful legacy in North Dakota -- other than that he fortuitously served as governor during an oil boom -- he should start building a portfolio of things about which he has taken a position.  As of today, all we know about Hoeven is that he's "for business."  That's a pretty empty plate.  Hoeven should take a position on something.  Might as well start with something that's important and relevant today: Health Care Reform.  (Tuesday, December 1, 2009)

Day 13. The Local Media.  The Bismarck Tribune certainly doesn't have a reporter on staff who has the journalistic integrity to ask you what your opinion is about something as important as health care reform.  And the Fargo Forum doesn't have any reporters to speak of here in Bismarck, where you live.  Even if the Forum did, it'd probably be one of their lame right-wing hack reporters who wouldn't want to trouble you with a tough question.  I'm sure you'd have a word with their boss, and silence them (again) if they did.  Forget about any of the other ForumComm newspapers or the Minot paper; they're all irrelevant.  We -- you and I -- would be doing them all a huge favor if we could just publish your opinion on health care reform right here on NorthDecoder.com.  I'd even be willing to put your positions into a press release so the traditional media people could just cut and paste from it, like how they typically write their stories about you.  (Wednesday, December 2, 2009)

Day 14. Your Boss Is Calling.  Above the legislature... above the Supreme Court... above the Governor's office... above all elected officials in North Dakota... situated at the top of the Government food chain are the people.  Article I, section 2, of the North Dakota constitution should be a reminder to you that the people have power over all of Government; it's not the other way around.  We are your boss and we've asked you to tell us your position on health care reform.  (Reminder:  You work for us.)  Now be a good employee and tell your boss what your position is on this issue that's so important to your job. [tap, tap, tap]  We're waiting.  (Thursday, December 3, 2009)


Yesterday On Thursday, November 19, 2009, over my lunch break, I sent an email to North Dakota Governor John Hoeven.  Here's what the email said:

Governor Hoeven:

I am collecting information on the position of some of North Dakota's elected officials regarding health care reform.  Would you be willing to provide information or a statement expressing your position and/or thoughts regarding healthcare reform initiatives?  For example, do you support the legislation currently working its way through the U.S. House?  Or the U.S. Senate?  Do you support the idea of a "public option"?  Would you support Senator Conrad's "co-op" idea?  Do you think it would be a good idea to open up health insurance sales across state lines without requiring out-of-sate health insurance companies to be regulated by our Insurance Commissioner and/or without being hampered by our state laws?  Do you support the Republican proposals for health care reform in the U.S. Congress?  If so, can you outline what you understand those Republican proposals to be?

I recognize that these are federal issues and that your office generally focuses on state issues, but it seems like these pieces of proposed legislation have a high probability of having a significant impact on state government, on in-state businesses and non-profits, and on our state's economy.  I'd really appreciate your comments.

Thank you in advance for your responses.


Email To Governor Hoeven From Me

The questions I've asked of Governor Hoeven are questions our state's media should have asked Governor Hoeven six months ago.  North Dakota's media is dropping the ball, again, on doing real journalism.  I am -- once again -- trying to do journalism for them because I believe North Dakota's citizens have a right to know these things.  The citizens of North Dakota should know where it's government's leaders stand on health care reform, and so I'm starting by asking the Governor.

I have not yet heard from Governor Hoeven.  I won't hold that against him as it has only been one day since I sent my questions to his office, and he's been pretty busy doing important governory stuff like declaring today "Thank a Farmer" Day.  It's okay that he hasn't responded yet.

This is the first in what I hope is a very short series on the reasons why it's important to know where Governor Hoeven stands on health care reform.  I'm going to try to post a new "why we deserve to know" for each day when Governor Hoeven doesn't respond.  Realistically speaking, I probably won't be able to post every day, so I'd invite others to submit their additions to this list (by email, please, to northdecoder at gmail daught com) so I can try to post your ideas, with credit (if you want).

I hope I don't run out of reasons.  I really hope Hoeven respects the right of North Dakota citizens to know where he stands on such an important issue.  I hope he doesn't make us all wait long.  I look forward to relaying Governor Hoeven's health care position to you.

The only time Hoeven has ever spoken about health care reform (that I can find [and I'm not counting this or this because they don't contribute anything worthwhile to the discussion]) was when he appeared on Fox News one day last summer.  During that appearance, the only suggestion he had for addressing the health care crisis is that he wants to reduce accountability for doctors who negligently hurt or kill you or your family members.  He supports legislation that would reduce medical negligence accountability in order to reduce all the needless "defensive medicine" doctors are supposedly doing.  Those of you who read NorthDecoder regularly know Hoeven's idea might, potentially, reduce health insurance costs by about .2% (that's two-tenths of a percentage point).

According to the Congressional Budget Office, that 0.2% reduction in health care costs could have the effect of making people DIE YOUNGER.   That's right.  CBO (on page 5 of the letter) cites a study showing "a 10 percent reduction in costs related to medical malpractice liability would increase the nation's mortality rate by 0.2 percent."  Well, that's enough to make you want to know what other great ideas Governor Hoeven has, isn't it?  Surely he would be unsatisfied with a plan that only made your family members die younger.  There has to be more to his plan or the plan he supports, dontcha think?  I'd like to know what else he has in mind. 

North Dakotans deserve to know.  I want to help you find out, since the traditional media has given up its traditional role of doing journalism. 

Stay tuned.

Comments (6)add comment

nimrod said:

Big Brother is Watching
The big beady eyes of Rush Limbaugh and the Club for Growth are waiting to see if the answer is conservative enough.
November 21, 2009
Votes: +0

Big Jake said:

Chet, are you just having fun with us? I knew right away that you were. You used relevant statistics when you know that empirical evidence will never reach Hoeven. I'm not saying the Hoeven is a Hooplehead, however, he is always worried that someone will discover what he knows so he just exercises a prudent pathway and just shuts up. We might never know. Some say he just doesn't have any ---ls. That is for sure. However, he and his handlers have done a stellar job of laying claim to all that oil and coal cleverly buried beneath the surface. Very Clever---it must be because it seems the a vast number of us believe it. For now, you can forget about him saying much of anything about healthcare. My prediction is the he WILL NOT run for the Senate and the House is just too low for a Governor to seek. I think no ---ls is the appropriate description.
November 24, 2009
Votes: +0

Blaine Washburn said:

Hoeven can't beat Dorgan
Interesting piece. The dirty little secret is that no Hoeven isn't conservative, yes the media does protect him, and finally he can't beat Byron Dorgan. He has given money to Dorgan in the past and of course the Senator will use that against him. Hoeven never takes a stand on the important issues. He puts his finger in the air and feels which way the wind is blowing. This is even how he is handling the Senate race.
I found your article to be honest and interesting to boot.
I'm a conservative and I can assure you I will never vote for John Hoeven. I'm voting for the guy from Fargo, Paul Sorum. He's honest and he actually tells you what side of the fence he stands on. To me that's refreshing.
December 01, 2009
Votes: -1

Big Jake said:

Legacy???? Hoeven has the luxury to have the Hooples on his side so facts have no value. He is not only a do-nothing Governor, starting with Shafer, the Capitol is filled with cronies---no appearance that competency was or has been a condsideration. I have never been burdened with the myth that Hoeven has the intellectual capacity to do much of anything. If he was not a product of inherited wealth---just how far would he have gotten in a real competitive world. I do think he is smart enough to know better than to run against Dorgan---his fragile ego could not handle the defeat. He is an empty suit--it looks like that is what North Dakota likes.
December 02, 2009
Votes: +0

ssgupta said:

Well, that's enough to make you want to know what other great ideas Governor Hoeven has, isn't it? Surely he would be unsatisfied with a plan that only made your family members die younger. There has to be more to his plan or the plan he supports, dontcha think? I'd like to know what else he has in mind.
December 16, 2009 | url
Votes: +0

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