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With COVID-19 cases on the rise and North Carolinians losing access to health care coverage, WFAE reports that health care is “front and center” in the North Carolina Senate race as voters contrast Senator Thom Tillis’ record of voting against North Carolinians’ health care interests and Cal’s record of fighting for more affordable, accessible health care.
As this health politics experts points out, voters will remember how Republicans like Tillis have spent years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no adequate replacement, and are currently in court attempting to throw out the entire law: “Here we are in the middle of a pandemic, millions have lost their jobs, and at least several million have lost their health insurance.’”
As Speaker of the North Carolina State House, Tillis also led the charge to block Medicaid expansion, leaving hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians in the coverage gap today. In 2014, he ran ads touting that he “stopped Obamacare’s Medicaid cold,” and has recently bragged about “making it illegal.” But amid this public health crisis, Tillis struggles to defend his decision and continues to fail to show leadership on the issue, saying that Medicaid expansion should be left up to the state while taking no action to push state lawmakers to do so.
In the Senate, Cal will work to improve access and bring down the cost of health care, fighting to strengthen and extend coverage under the Affordable Care Act and calling on Congress to incentivize states like North Carolina to expand Medicaid.
WGHP spoke to North Carolinians about the contrast in the race: “As an entrepreneur and as someone who’s responsible for finding my own health care, I’ve experienced firsthand how different those premiums can be when you’re buying through the exchange versus just independently.”
A recent poll found that the majority of North Carolinians favor Medicaid expansion, and that “majorities of respondents of every political stripe supported expansion, with 60 percent of those identifying as ‘very conservative’ along with 89 percent of those who identified as ‘liberal.’”
In an interview with WLOS last month, Tillis wavered between trying to explain why he opposed critical health care coverage for North Carolinians and posturing himself as somehow now open to the idea while taking no action to push the legislature to do so. “Now in politics, they call that a flip flop,” said Tillis in the interview. Still, Tillis “won’t comment on whether expansion should now go forward.”
Cal has “positioned himself as a defender of the [ACA] and proponent of Medicaid expansion.”In the Senate, he will work to protect and improve the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option and advocating for expanded Medicaid in North Carolina.
Read more about the key contrasts between Cal and Tillis on the critical issue of health care below:
By Dana Miller Ervin – September 16, 2020