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Thom Tillis’ Record On Health Care & Unemployment Is Back In The Spotlight As North Carolinians Face “Sobering COVID-19 Reality”

With more than 1 million North Carolinians applying for unemployment benefits, the number of people also losing their health insurance is growing at an alarming rate. 

According to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a projected 723,000 North Carolinians have lost their health insurance as a result of job losses, cuts, and furloughs. And this number keeps growing. 

Thom Tillis blocked Medicaid expansion as Speaker of the North Carolina House, preventing hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians that fall in the growing coverage gap from receiving health care. And he didn’t stop there. In Washington, he has waged attacks on health care time and again by voting 13 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and standing behind the Administration’s reckless lawsuit that would dismantle the entire law. 

And while he pretends to “fight for the little guy,” he voted to gut unemployment in the state, becoming an “architect” of what the Charlotte Observer calls “one of the stingiest state unemployment programs in the country.” 

Thom Tillis’ record on both unemployment and health insurance have now left hundreds of thousands of North Carolinans struggling to get by in the midst of a global pandemic and an economic recession because many are not “lucky enough to have a spouse with coverage, say, or happen to live in a state that has expanded Medicaid.”

Now more than ever, North Carolina needs a leader who will look out for them and their wellbeing:

“We need emergency steps today to make sure our families have unemployment assistance…that we provide health coverage to people in the middle of a pandemic so that things don’t get worse,” Cal Cunningham told ABC11.

Cal has also called on Congress to pass a Medicaid expansion incentive, to give states like North Carolina, the 100 percent federal match regardless of when they expand. 

News & Record: Unemployed, uninsured overlap is sobering COVID-19 reality in North Carolina

By Richard Craver- June 14th, 2020

  • Having more than 1 million North Carolinians — and counting — applying for unemployment insurance benefits has been perhaps the most sobering economic statistic from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Running on a parallel track is the projection that 723,000 North Carolinians — and counting — have lost health insurance coverage as a result of job cuts, layoffs and furloughs, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.
  • The Economic Policy Institute reported in May that at least 476,000 North Carolinians were in jobs that likely had employer-provided health insurance attached.
  • “The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the coverage gap grew by 13,000 in May,” Khachaturyan said.
  • “It is expected to grow to an estimated 178,000 people by January as a result of COVID-19-related job losses as people exhaust their state and federal UI benefits,” she said.
  • Several studies have shown that between 450,000 and 650,000 North Carolinians could benefit from Medicaid expansion. There already are 2.2 million beneficiaries, roughly about 20% of the state’s population.
  • However, Republican legislative leaders, foremost N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County, have pointedly declined since 2013 to expand the state Medicaid program.
  • A dichotomy appears to exist in how the GOP-controlled state legislature views the economic and public-health welfare of North Carolinians affected directly by the pandemic.