Al Carlson doesn’t care if you’re sick

Debate over HB1362, which authorized North Dakota’s participation in the Medicaid expansion plan that would cover anyone who can’t afford to buy health insurance, consisted of well-researched, well reasoned medical and insurance professionals asking the state to go ahead and do it.  Only one person testified against it.  No one really important, just the House Majority Leader.

Trotting out “the national debt” as a reason not to care about people who are both sick and poor, it’s offensive.  Especially when North Dakota is rolling in it so much we can’t figure out where to spend it all.

63rd Session Bill Tracking: Papers, Please!

roadblockI was curious about a few bills, so I went to the North Dakota Legislature site to check up on them.  Instead of getting quick, easy access, I ran into this monstrosity.

Most legislatures post their bill status data publicly. The US Congress uses a site called THOMAS. Minnesota and Montana are open directly to the public.  South Dakota asks for nothing but an e-mail address.  But in North Dakota you have to fork over a host of personal information just to take a peek at what your legislature is up to.

It’s a huge roadblock for the merely curious, and flies in the face of openness and transparency.

Furthermore, the Legislature seems to be quite keen on keeping its deliberations under wraps, moving swiftly to block public scrutiny of internal comments on bills, even from journalists that work closely with the ruling party.

Is this really what passes for “democracy” in this state?