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RALEIGH, NC — This week, Senator Tillis joined Washington Republicans in moving forward with their election-year priority of quickly confirming a Supreme Court nominee just three weeks before Election Day, even as hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians are already voting.
While Senator Tillis made it clear within hours of the news of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing that he would confirm whoever the President nominated, he’s also downplayed concerns over the specifics of Amy Coney Barrett’s record as “just another political stunt” as he faces an uphill battle for re-election.
Over the next three days, we’ll highlight key aspects of Amy Coney Barrett’s record, starting with health care. Here are the facts:
In the last North Carolina Senate debate, Senator Tillis failed to offer a clear health care plan when pressed on the possibility that the administration’s lawsuit could dismantle the Affordable Care Act. He’s also downplayed the risk of confirming a Supreme Court Justice to the court who has indicated she would support invalidating the law, and “did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment on each candidate’s characterization of Barrett’s potential impact on the court.”
One thing is clear: if Senator Tillis gets his way, millions of Americans will lose their health care coverage and protections for those living with pre-existing conditions will be erased from the books.
Tillis has tried to protect himself politically from blowback at the ballot box over his health care record by offering up a bill he claims would protect pre-existing conditions coverage. But experts have said that Tillis’ sham bill “contains huge loopholes that undermine that promise” and just provides insurers “another way of excluding coverage of preexisting conditions.” Carolina Fisher, a small business owner in Wilmington, has a neurological condition. She says: “It’s truly scary to think about losing my health insurance as far as not being covered for pre-existing conditions,” she said. “We are hearing from some members of Congress that any plan to replace the ACA would include pre-existing conditions coverage. However, we haven’t ever seen any plans.”
“Senator Tillis cannot hide the fact that he will stop at nothing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though he has no credible plan to replace it,”said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign. “If Senator Tillis were serious about protecting the 1.7 million North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions, he would not be following Mitch McConnell’s orders to jam through a judge who has given us no reason to think she would uphold the Affordable Care Act.”
Cal has made it clear that he believes that the people of North Carolina should make their voice heard at the ballot box, and confirming a new justice should be up to the next president and the next Senate.
In a Medium post yesterday, Cal included questions he would ask Judge Barrett, including on health care: “Given your past criticisms, how can you remain impartial on the case that is set to go before the Supreme Court in November to invalidate the ACA in its entirety, including pre-existing condition protections?”
Cal also criticized Senator Tillis for “pledg[ing] to confirm whomever the President sent to the Senate, sight unseen,” flip-flopping on his own standard from four years ago and caving to partisan interests in Washington.