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8.26.20

Cal Cunningham Echoes Governor Cooper’s Impassioned Call To Expand Medicaid In North Carolina

Senator Tillis Blocked Medicaid Expansion As Speaker Of The NC House, Denying Thousands Coverage

RALEIGH, NC — Today, Governor Cooper urged North Carolina to expand Medicaid in his State Budget Proposal Briefing saying “As people find themselves suddenly without a job, underemployed, without the health care they counted on, we have a solution. Expanding Medicaid can help hundreds of thousands of working North Carolinians get health care when they need it most.”

Senator Thom Tillis blocked Medicaid expansion as Speaker of the House, one of the reasons North Carolina remains one of only 12 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. Years later, Tillis bragged about it and continues to defend his decision, leaving 634,000 North Carolinians without health care coverage during a global pandemic. 

Cal Cunningham has been an outspoken advocate about Medicaid expansion and has repeatedly called for Congress to pass a Medicaid expansion incentive to make sure states like North Carolina receive the 100 percent federal match regardless of when they expand.

Cal recently said: “Without the care they deserve, families and folks finding themselves out of a job due to COVID-19 are even more vulnerable during this public health crisis. If Senator Tillis cares about the health of his constituents, he should take a hint from the states adopting expansion, admit he was wrong as Speaker, and incentivize North Carolina to expand Medicaid now.”

In addition to calling for expanding Medicaid, Governor Cooper proposed increasing unemployment benefits to $500 a week and extending the duration of benefits to 24 weeks, highlighting Tillis’ record creating “one of the stingiest” unemployment programs in the country. 

“Not only is North Carolina one of only 12 states who have not expanded Medicaid, our unemployment benefits rank dead last in the country, and North Carolinians have Senator Tillis to thank for that,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for the campaign. “Made clear by Governor Cooper’s pleas to expand Medicaid and increase jobless benefits, Tillis’ actions as Speaker of the House left North Carolinians in a worse place to weather this crisis, and his inaction in Washington continues to hurt our state.”