Conrad: I held several public meetings before health care vote

Totally false.

I held public town halls in every corner of North Dakota on the legislation. Thousands of North Dakotans attended. The meetings were widely covered in the press at the time.

I also answered thousands of letters and emails on the healthcare bill.

We held many public hearings and roundtables in the Senate Finance Committee of which I was a member. The legislation went through committees and was open to amendment by Republicans and Democrats.

I supported the act because it:

• Stopped the use of pre-existing conditions to deny coverage to sick people.

• Ended annual and lifetime limits that prevented people with severe illnesses like cancer and heart disease from having coverage.

• Allowed young people to stay on their parent’s policies until they were 26.

• Expanded coverage to over 90% of North Dakotans and increased coverage by more 20 million nationwide.

• It prevented many rural hospital from closing in North Dakota.

With all that said, there are legitimate problems with the legislation that should be addressed. That is why I believe it should be mended not ended.

Thank you for this opportunity to set the record straight.

Conrad is a former U.S. Senator, D-N.D.

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