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Thom Tillis Is Still Making It Harder To Get Health Care For Newly Unemployed North Carolinians

Another unemployment report this morning showed millions are still filing for unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as some businesses begin to reopen. For many, losing their job means losing their health care, too. 

But Republicans like Thom Tillis aren’t making it any easier to gain access to coverage. Instead, he continues to stand silently as the administration refuses to open a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance marketplace and has made it clear that he supports anything that will take the ACA “off the table.” That includes refusing to condemn the lawsuit that could destroy the entire Affordable Care Act, including coverage for 20 million people who have insurance through the law and protections for 1.7 million North Carolinians living with pre-existing conditions.

And thanks to Thom Tillis, North Carolina has not expanded Medicaid, preventing 634,000 North Carolinians from gaining health coverage and leaving North Carolina’s rural hospitals struggling to stay afloat.

Even as social safety net programs provide a lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington GOP continues to plow forward with efforts to undermine health care access and refuse to continue enhanced unemployment benefits

Thom Tillis has built a name for himself attacking health care and gutting benefits for people out of work, decisions that have left North Carolina unprepared for the public health crisis we face today and are hurting working families across the state. 

That’s why North Carolinians won’t be fooled by his television ad claiming he’ll “remember who needs [help] the most.” They know that “if you lose your paycheck in North Carolina, you can thank Tillis for being an architect of one of the stingiest state unemployment programs in the country.” 

In November, voters are ready to elect leaders like Cal Cunningham who will fight to build a strong safety net for families to weather the economic impact of any storm, including protecting and improving the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid, and extending and increasing unemployment benefits. 

Associated Press: Coronavirus in US: 1.87M workers seek jobless aid in 9th straight weekly decline

By Christopher Rugaber – June 4, 2020

  • Nearly 1.9 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, the ninth straight decline since applications spiked in mid-March, a sign that the gradual reopening of businesses has slowed the loss of jobs. The diminishing pace suggests that the job market meltdown that was triggered by the coronavirus may have bottomed out as more companies call at least some of their former employees back to work.
  • The total number of people who are now receiving jobless aid rose only slightly to 21.5 million, suggesting that rehiring is offsetting some of the ongoing layoffs. Though applications for benefits are slowing, the latest weekly number is still more than double the record high that prevailed before the viral outbreak. It shows that there are limits to how much a partial reopening of the economy can restore a depressed job market mired in a recession.
  • With all states in the process of gradually reopening for business, more consumers are starting to return to restaurants, stores and hair salons. That trend has boosted consumer spending from exceedingly low levels and has likely encouraged some companies to hire again. In addition to the laid-off employees who applied for benefits last week, 623,000 others sought jobless aid under a new program for self-employed and gig workers, who now qualify for unemployment benefits for the first time.