GRAND FORKS, N.D. ( – Dakotans for Health is an ad hoc group of North and South Dakotans advocating the importance of maintaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act to provide access to quality health care and supports working to improve the law to benefit everyone.

On July 16th, the group released a report called, a North Dakota Rural Health Report.

Former Congressman and state insurance commissioner Earl Pomeroy and Mary Wakefield, the former Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services visited with members of the media to discuss the findings.

Pomeroy said, according to the report by Dakotans for Health,“316,000 North Dakotans live with a pre-existing medical condition, of those, 40,800 are children, and 73,700 are adults between the ages of 55 and 64.”

He said prior to the passage of the ACA, people with medical conditions such as pregnancy, dementia, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, depression could automatically be denied insurance coverage.

Pomeroy said because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance companies can no longer deny coverage or charge individuals and families more because of pre-existing health conditions.

He said, after multiple attempts by Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration, along with allies in Congress, are pushing to eliminate these and other consumer protections through the court process via of the North Dakota Attorney General’s office. Pomeroy discussed the potential impact on health and healthcare in North Dakota with reporter Steve Urness.