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Tillis Gaslights North Carolinians to Cover Up His Opposition to Medicaid Expansion


September 18, 2020

Tillis Gaslights North Carolinians to Cover Up His Opposition to Medicaid Expansion

Tillis Blocked Medicaid Expansion in 2013, Attempts to Rewrite History Now

Raleigh, N.C. - Thom Tillis is the reason 500,000 North Carolinians don’t have health care today through Medicaid expansion, a fact he is desperately seeking to cover up with a series of confusing and false statements over the last two weeks. With Medicaid expansion overwhelmingly popular, Tillis wants to gaslight North Carolina voters in advance of the upcoming election.

Last week, Tillis’ office falsely claimed that the state couldn’t support expansion in 2013, but that Tillis’ legislative leadership had paved the way for expansion now. In fact, Tillis’ first move upon becoming North Carolina House Speaker in 2013 was to block any consideration of Medicaid expansion at all, and since entering the Senate, he has consistently supported repealing the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. And this week, Tillis refused to say whether or not he now supported expansion.

“Tillis has opposed Medicaid expansion for nearly a decade, and no amount of lies, distortions, or attempts to rewrite his history can cover that up,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson. “500,000 North Carolinians would have health care today if Tillis hadn’t slammed the door shut on expansion in 2013. But instead of trying to expand access to care, Tillis has made a career out of trying to take it away. This November, we will elect a senator who actually cares about North Carolinians’ health.”

Here are the facts on Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina:

  • A 2013 analysis by the nonpartisan North Carolina Institute of Medicine, which was available when North Carolina Republicans blocked expansion, showed that Medicaid expansion would have saved North Carolina $65 million within eight years and created 25,000 new jobs by 2016

  • By 2022, North Carolina will have turned down $39.6 billion in federal Medicaid funding and $11.3 billion in federal hospital reimbursements. Meanwhile, North Carolinians have paid $8.6 billion to expand Medicaid in other states

  • At least 1,400 North Carolinians have lost their lives due to the failure to expand Medicaid

  • Medicaid expansion has not created serious budget problems for states according to the Cone Health Foundation. A reduction in uncompensated care costs due to more services being covered by Medicaid has actually helped some state budget

  • Medicaid expansion states have “experienced significant coverage gains and reductions in uninsured rates,” resulting in improved health outcomes


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