July 31, 2020/Media, Press

Tillis Blames His Refusal to Expand Medicaid on a Budget From 2001 – a Decade Before Medicaid Expansion *Existed*

Senator Tillis still has not found a way to defend to North Carolinians his role in blocking Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, so now he’s desperately trying to blame his 2013 vote blocking Medicaid expansion on a bipartisan budget that passed more than a decade before his vote and nearly a decade before Medicaid expansion existed.

You read that right.

In an interview with WRAL, when asked if he had any “regrets” about this vote to block Medicaid expansion, Tillis tried to lay blame with a 2001 state budget… a full 12 years before Tillis’ 2013 vote and nearly a decade before the ACA was even signed into law.

Putting aside the fact that the state’s finances had recovered in the ensuing years — in 2006, the state North Carolina reported its “healthiest budget surplus in years” — Tillis’ latest claim on its face is a new, desperate low in his years-long struggle to explain his vote to block Medicaid expansion.

In his first Senate run, he ran ads boasting how he blocked expansion “cold,” then “reverse[d] course,” only to flip back around to his previous position last summer. Earlier this year, he changed it up, testing out that he “saved Medicaid” by refusing to expand health care to 500,000 or more North Carolinians. When that didn’t work, he’s now moved on to blaming a budget from nearly a decade before the ACA was signed into law.

“Seven years later and Senator Tillis is still desperately attempting to defend his record of blocking access to health care for many North Carolina families,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “It’s clear Senator Tillis is worried that his record of taking away access to affordable health care is toxic with voters, which is why he keeps testing out excuse after excuse. We can’t wait to see what’s next. But hey, keep trying, I guess?”