Skip to content

Profiles in Irony

Thom Tillis, Republican candidate for the US Senate in North Carolina.

Last year, as Speaker of the assembly in North Carolina, Tillis led the fight to pass a bill rejecting Medicaid expansion (a key part of Obamacare). According to Tillis “An expansion of Medicaid would cost North Carolina taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars through 2021.” He also said “If these liberal activists were truly serious about reducing the cost of health insurance, they would be in Washington protesting Obamacare, an abomination that has caused insurance premiums to skyrocket for working families.”

Tillis backed efforts in the Senate that led to the government shutdown, saying “I believe Obamacare is a mortal threat to our economy. It will decrease healthcare quality and raise healthcare premiums and Republicans should do everything in our power to undo it.” In his current campaign for the Senate, his website calls Obamacare “a cancer on our national economy.” During the primary, he boasted in TV ads that he “stopped Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion cold. It’s not happening in North Carolina, and it’s because of Thom Tillis.”

But now, his opponent in the Senate race has been winning supporters by blasting him for opposing Medicaid expansion, so what does Tillis do? He appears on TV and claims that the state should consider expanding Medicaid. He even said that he doesn’t have any ideological objection to expanding the coverage.

As recently as August, Tillis was still claiming that he absolutely wanted to repeal Obamacare, but was starting to hedge his bets, talking about a transition period and maybe keeping some components of the law.

At least on some issues, Tillis is being consistent. In the same interview this week, he said that there is no simple explanation for what causes climate change.