October 24, 2019/Press

Tillis Still Has No Real Plan for North Carolinians’ Health Care, Only “Political Cover” for Himself

Raleigh – Senator Thom Tillis along with Washington Republicans are pushing a reckless lawsuit that would gut protections for pre-existing conditions coverage and throw other critical protections for North Carolinians into chaos – and they won’t tell anyone what will happen if they’re successful.

The lawsuit, which the courts could decide “any day now,” is a “huge vulnerability” for Senator Tillis, one that many Republicans privately note “isn’t exactly a winning political prospect.” Now, the Trump administration is refusing to say what exactly will happen to North Carolinians worried about the future of their health care other than to just “keep calm and carry on.”

Senator Tillis voted for the 2017 Republican tax scam that paved the way for this dangerous lawsuit. This summer, Tillis endorsed the lawsuit, telling Spectrum News that he supports “anything” that takes the ACA “off the table.” In a clear sign that this is a huge vulnerability for him, Tillis has tried to paper over his toxic record by pushing a “false promise” that is long on “political cover” but “would do little to protect people with pre-existing conditions.”

“A decision that could impact health care coverage across North Carolina is expected any day now, yet Senator Tillis and Washington Republicans have no plan in place to help people other than a cheap, false promise designed to protect themselves,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said. “Papering over your support for a reckless lawsuit is not going to cut it for North Carolina families who will lose vital protections like those for pre-existing conditions, and it’s just yet another example of timid Thom Tillis putting his political survival before what’s right for North Carolina.”

Washington Post: The Health 202: Congress couldn’t get the top Obamacare chief to detail what happens next if the law’s struck down
By Paige Winfield Cunningham
October 24, 2019

Key Points:

  • President Trump’s top Obamacare chief refused to tell Congress yesterday how the administration would replace the landmark 2010 health-care law should a federal appeals court knock it down in the coming weeks.
  • Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, instead had a single line ready every time a Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee pressed her for details on what would happen to the millions of Americans who have obtained coverage under the Affordable Care Act and benefited from its consumer protections.
  • “The president has made clear we’ll have a plan in action to make sure Americans have access to affordable coverage,” Verma told member after member
  • A decision is expected any day now from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, although any ruling is likely to be stayed as the losing side appeals to the Supreme Court. While the administration has worked on some ideas to replace the ACA, those are far short of the sweeping actions Congress would need to take to prevent millions of Americans from being affected.

New York Times: How Pending Decision on Obamacare Could Upend 2020 Campaign
By Abby Goodnough
October 19, 2019

Key Points:

  • A federal appeals court in New Orleans is preparing a ruling on the Affordable Care Act that could put the law’s future front and center in the presidential race, overwhelming the current Democratic debate over Medicare for all and reigniting the health care-driven worries that helped Democrats win back the House last year.
  • Three judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are weighing whether to uphold a Texas judge’s ruling that the law’s requirement for most Americans to have health insurance is unconstitutional, and that the rest of the sprawling law cannot function without it. It is hard to imagine a thornier domestic issue for President Trump, whose administration not only refused to defend the law in the case filed by Texas and 19 other states but sided with the plaintiffs, asking the court to invalidate it.
  • But if it comes in the next few weeks, it could create significant confusion during open enrollment for the Obamacare plans offered through the law’s online marketplaces. And it would open a huge vulnerability for Mr. Trump, whose health care platform largely consists of attacking as socialism Democratic plans to expand government health care, either through Medicare for all or a government-run health care option that would be offered through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.
  • But a ruling that upheld his decision in full, or even one that said the mandate and pre-existing condition protections had to go, would send shock waves through the health care and political systems. Either outcome would probably play into Democratic hands, especially in contests against vulnerable Republicans like Senators Martha McSally of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

Read more on how Tillis’ support for the lawsuit is a “huge vulnerability” for him: