Senator Tillis reached a new, desperate low yesterday when, responding to a new ad about his comments last year bragging about blocking Medicaid expansion as Speaker of the NC House, his campaign argued that he “saved Medicaid” by not expanding it.
Senator Tillis has contorted himself into knots trying to hide that he caved to his corporate backers and blocked Medicaid expansion because he knows it’s toxic with voters. Here’s a quick timeline:
- 2013: Then-Speaker of the House Thom Tillis blocks Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.
- Spring 2014: Running in a far-right GOP primary, Tillis runs ads boasting that he “stopped Obama’s Medicaid expansion cold.” “It’s not happening in North Carolina, and it’s because of Thom Tillis,” the ad bragged.
- October 2014: A month before the election, Tillis “reverses course” and suggests that the state consider expanding Medicaid.
- July 2019: Facing a tough challenge from the right, Tillis flip-flop-flips back to his original stance and proudly boasts, “I am the Speaker of the House who signed the bill that made it illegal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.”
- February 2020: After his primary opponent dropped out, Senator Tillis was pressed on his stance and offered a rambling word salad before being forced to again reiterate that he’s against “broad based expansion.”
- June 2020: Tillis claims he “saved Medicaid” by refusing to expand health care to 500,000 or more North Carolinians.
“Seven years since he blocked expanding health care access for the most vulnerable among us, Senator Tillis is still fumbling with a way to explain it to North Carolina voters,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Senator Tillis is grasping at straws because he can’t explain this away, and North Carolina voters will hold him accountable for blocking Medicaid expansion this fall.”