In 2015, Senator Thom Tillis along with other Republican incumbents, voted for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act — a move that would have left millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions vulnerable.
A pre-existing condition is a health problem that someone has before their health coverage starts. Examples include asthma, cancer, diabetes or lupus.
Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” insurers could deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or inflate their premiums so much that they dropped coverage, as PolitiFact and its partners have previously reported.
The record shows Tillis voted to repeal it.“Certainly, this provision, if enacted, would have removed coverage of pre-existing conditions because it would have repealed the ACA in its entirety, which would have restored law to what it was prior to 2010, when pre-existing conditions often were not covered in most states or by federal law,” said Mark Hall, a law and health professor at Wake Forest University.
Nationally, over 52 million rely on the coverage that Tillis voted to deny. In North Carolina alone, over 1.6 million people have such conditions that were not covered before the ACA became law. And yet with their repeal unsuccessful, an attempt to propose a different law that aimed to address pre-existing conditions, was prompted by Tillis and the GOP.
The proposed 2019 Protect Act, seemed to guarantee the availability of coverage for pre-existing conditions and prohibited insurers from charging people more for it — but experts found that to be false.
According to an analysis by The New York Times, the proposed bill fell significantly short in coverage compared to the already established ACA.
Tillis’ bill also does not specify what benefits must be provided, and does not prohibit insurers from charging women more than men, along with other unclear or limited protections.
Republicans have repeatedly attempted to repeal and replace the ACA, subsequently gutting protections for those who have health problems. Without those protections, insurers could freely deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or inflate their premiums so much that they dropped coverage.
Yes, Tillis voted to take away coverage for millions of people who have pre-existing conditions. And yes, Tillis proposed a bill to counter the ACA that would have left loopholes for insurance companies to use against people with pre-existing conditions. North Carolina deserves a Senator that will protect our health care, not undermine it.