July 1, 2020/Press

Tillis’ Health Care Record — Blocking Medicaid Expansion, ACA Repeal — Exposed

The News & Observer yesterday exposed Senator Tillis’ long, disastrous record attacking North Carolinians’ health care, from blocking Medicaid expansion to voting multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and popular provisions like protections for pre-existing conditions and supporting a lawsuit arguing that “pre-existing condition rules must be overturned.

A few key highlights on the biggest contrast in the Senate race:

On Medicaid expansion…

  • When Tillis was speaker of the House, Republicans passed a bill in 2013 prohibiting Medicaid expansion without action by the lawmakers. It also stopped the state from running its own health benefit exchange. Tillis has taken credit for being the one to stop Medicaid expansion in the state, both at the time and more recently.”
  • In his 2014 GOP primary, Tillis ran radio ads saying he “stopped Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion cold. It’s not happening in North Carolina, and it’s because of Thom Tillis.” In a GOP debate, he touted his fight against Obamacare.

On ACA repeal…

  • Tillis has voted several times in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying he would vote to get rid of it “every time it comes to the floor.”
  • Now the politics have been scrambled, timed almost precisely with President Donald Trump taking office. With Republicans in control of the House, the Senate and the White House throughout 2017 and 2018, the chances for repeal shot up. The Senate, however, was not able to pass a bill, despite running several versions — outright repeal, repeal-and-replace and so-called “skinny” repeal in late July 2017. Tillis voted for all three. The first two would have ended Medicaid expansion.

On GOP’s ACA lawsuit…

  • “I support anything that ultimately takes a failed health care plan, Obamacare, off the table so that we can start talking about a sustainable one that will make health care affordable and actually make people healthier,” Tillis said when asked about the lawsuit in 2019.

On Tillis’ sham bill on pre-existing conditions, which experts continue to pan

  • Critics said the bill would allow insurance companies to not cover issues related to those preexisting conditions.

Meanwhile, “Cal Cunningham has positioned himself as a defender of the law and proponent of Medicaid expansion.” Health care is “consistently near the top of the list of issues voters care about,” a position that has only recently increased as the current pandemic raised concerns about lack of access to affordable health care.

“Health care is again on the ballot, and Senator Tillis’ long, disastrous record attacking North Carolinians’ health care is front and center this fall,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Senator Tillis can’t run from this record, which is why North Carolinians will vote him out this November.”

Read the full report online here.