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Published August 23, 2012, 02:39 PM

Conrad Warns Against Repeal of Health Amendment

After a hard-fought eight year battle to pass the Frontier Amendment in 2010 many are already pushing for it to be repealed. But Senator Kent Conrad says that would have negative effects on health care in North Dakota.

After a hard-fought eight year battle to pass the Frontier Amendment in 2010 many are already pushing for it to be repealed. But Senator Kent Conrad says that would have negative effects on health care in North Dakota.

Senator Conrad met with Altru health officials in Grand Forks today to discuss the Frontier Amendment -- part of the Healthcare Reform Bill. He says it's improving reimbursement levels that Medicare pays to hospitals and doctors for the care they provide.

Conrad spoke with Altru officials about the amendment and how it has moved the State from the bottom of Medicare reimbursement to an average level. The Senator says repealing it would put North Dakota's hospitals back in second class status and put a burden on Medicare beneficiaries.

Altru health officials say it means several million dollars per year for them to help recruit doctors, buy equipment and be more competitive. Conrad says the bill is helping hospitals around North Dakota be on par with other states.

Conrad: “The idea of just repealing it, people need to know in North Dakota that would repeal the Frontier Amendment which has moved North Dakota from the bottom in medicare reimbursement to the average level. That means 650 million dollars to this state over the next ten years.”

While he was in town today, Conrad also talked took a tour of Choice Health and Fitness Center.

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