To: House Human Services Committee
Subject: House Bill 1362
Date: January 30, 2013

The North Dakota Catholic Conference supports House Bill 1362 to exercise the option to expand Medicaid coverage with federal dollars consistent with Governor Dalrymple’s budget request.

Our approach to health care is shaped by a simple but fundamental principle: “Every person has a right to adequate health care. This right flows from the sanctity of human life and the dignity that belongs to all human persons, who are made in the image of God.” For this reason the Catholic bishops of the United States have since 1917 consistently and persistently called for access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all in a manner that respects human life and religious freedom.

By increasing access to health care and health care coverage to uninsured eligible North Dakotans who are below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, House Bill 1362 could reduce the number of uninsured adults living below that poverty level by 69 percent in North Dakota.

We applaud Governor Dalrymple for including this important piece of the social fabric in his budget request. We urge the Legislative Assembly to support this effort.

We respectfully request a Do Pass recommendation on House Bill 1362.