September 30, 2020/Media

NCDems Blast Tillis’ “Check the Box” Effort on Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Today, Senate Republicans refused to pass Senator Tillis’ sham health care bill, which independent experts have already panned as a “check-the-box effort” and “meaningless promise” that “would do little to protect people with pre-existing conditions” and is “really about protecting Senate Republicans” not patients. 

North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin released the following statement in response:

“Once again, rather than solve North Carolinians’ very real problems, Senator Tillis is just trying to solve his own. This bill has already been debunked as a false promise that does little to protect people with pre-existing conditions and is nothing more than a talking point for Senator Tillis’ flailing reelection campaign. If Senator Tillis was serious about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, he would push his party to drop their lawsuit seeking to eviscerate those very protections and refuse to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court who will upend our health care. Instead, he’s focused on political cover for himself.”

Senator Tillis’ bill has been slammed by independent experts, analysts and media outlets who have exposed it as nothing more than a political stunt:

  • Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation: “Unlike the ACA, the new Republican pre-existing condition bill would not disallow lifetime or annual limits, cap patient out-of-pocket costs, require coverage of essential benefits, prohibit gender rating, or provide subsidies to make premiums more affordable.”
  • PolitiFact NC: “Experts agree that the Tillis proposal left loopholes insurance companies could use against people with pre-existing conditions.”
  • Washington Post Fact Check: Experts “warn that millions of Americans could lose their health coverage if the ACA falls and the Protect Act is the only replacement.” 
  • New York Times: “Patients with cancer, diabetes and H.I.V., for example, would have significantly less protection under Republican proposals [like Senator Tillis’ bill] than under the Affordable Care Act… The bills do not specify what benefits must be provided. They do not prohibit insurers from charging women more than men, as insurers often did before the Affordable Care Act. And they would not ban annual or lifetime limits on benefits.”
  • Los Angeles Times Editorial Board: Tillis’ bill is “really about protecting Senate Republicans from the stink caused by the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.”
  • The Hill: Tillis’ bill “does not address other core parts of the health law that could be struck down, such as its Medicaid expansion or financial assistance to help people afford coverage.”
  • 32 patient groups, including the American Heart Association, on an earlier version of Tillis’ bill: “The safeguards presented in this legislation fall far short of the patient protections encompassed in existing law… Should the ACA be struck down and this legislation implemented as a replacement, consumers with pre-existing conditions would face significant financial and coverage barriers. In short, for people with pre-existing conditions, the bill would provide access to coverage in name only…[the bill] falls far short of providing coverage and security to your constituents, including those who are or will face significant health care needs.”

Independent fact checkers have also confirmed that Senator Tillis has repeatedly voted to take away protections from the 1.7 million North Carolinians living with pre-existing conditions. As one independent fact checker succinctly said: “Is it true that Tillis voted to take away coverage for people with pre-existing conditions? Yes.”