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Three Days Out, Three Times Thom Tillis Tried To Take Away North Carolinians’ Health Care Protections

News & Observer Fact Check: “Did Tillis Vote Against Coverage For Preexisting Conditions? Yes.”

RALEIGH, NC — Senator Thom Tillis is spending the final days of the campaign the same way he has spent the last six years of his Senate term– attacking North Carolinians’ health care. 

Earlier this week, North Carolinians worried about losing their health care protections called out Senator Tillis for his latest attacks after he told a local radio station: “anyone who is trying to scare voters into thinking that they’re going to be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition is lying. They’re either dumb or they’re lying.” North Carolinians are rightfully fearful as Tillis has repeatedly tried to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in full and has offered no real plan to replace it. 

Now, with three days until Election Day, the Cal Cunningham campaign is reminding voters about three times Tillis has worked to take North Carolinians’ health care protections away, including protections for pre-existing conditions. Read more below: 

  1. Tillis voted 15 times to fully or partially repeal the Affordable Care Act. Tillis called his vote to repeal the ACA “courageous” despite the fact that his vote would have “significantly reduced protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” A News & Observer fact check this week confirmed Tillis has voted multiple times against coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  2. Tillis has repeatedly backed a lawsuit that would repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, including pre-existing condition protections. Tillis voted as recently as this month in support of a lawsuit that would repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, including pre-existing condition protections and recently made his motivations for supporting the lawsuit clear by saying, “I support anything that ultimately takes [the ACA] off the table.” 
  3. Instead of passing badly-needed COVID-19 relief, Senator Tillis rushed through a Supreme Court Justice who is hostile to North Carolinians’ health care. In the middle of a pandemic, Tillis helped lead efforts to rush through the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who has signaled support for “full invalidation of the ACA.” Barrett has also called decisions to uphold it “illegitimate” and argued Chief Justice Roberts “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning” in the NFIB v. Sebelius Supreme Court case.

“Senator Tillis has spent six years doing everything he can to take away health care from North Carolinians and now voters are ready to hold him accountable,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign. “The contrast on health care in this race couldn’t be more clear: while Tillis will stop at nothing to take away North Carolinians’ health care protections, no one will fight harder to improve and expand health care coverage than Cal.” 

While Senator Tillis argues that North Carolinians’ concerns about losing health care and pre-existing condition protections are “dumb,” at a Senate debate last month, Tillis couldn’t offer a single plan to provide health care to North Carolinians. Tillis has since tried to push through a sham health care bill in an attempt to rewrite his record of denying North Carolinians care. But Tillis’ bill allows health insurers to exclude a number of critical health care benefits, reverses current protections that prevent insurance companies from placing limits on the annual and lifetime benefits they will pay, and could lead to higher premiums and health care costs for women and older Americans. 

As the News & Observer wrote about Tillis’ bill: “The Protect Act does not include language in the Affordable Care Act requiring coverage for certain health benefits, such as maternity, mental health, and substance abuse care.”

Meanwhile, Cal Cunningham will protect North Carolinians’ health care and is fighting to strengthen and extend coverage under the Affordable Care Act, expand Medicaid in North Carolina, create a public health insurance option, support rural hospitals, address doctor shortages, support life-saving research to prevent and treat diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS, and ensure no one loses their employer-sponsored coverage who wants to keep it.