RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — In May 2014, Thom Tillis was the Speaker of the North Carolina House and 14 people were arrested during a sit-in in his office. It became known as Moral Mondays, and they were protesting Tillis’s refusal to expand Medicaid.
Now it’s 2022 and Tillis has different views.
“The reason I didn’t allow it to be expanded back when I was Speaker of the House is the numbers didn’t add up. But now we’re in a different time,” Tillis told CBS 17’s Russ Bowen.
North Carolina is one of 12 states where Medicaid has not been expanded. The federal government has offered our state $1.5 billion dollars to do so. Earlier this year, the state senate approved a bill that would provide Medicaid to around 600,000 people.
Tillis, now the junior U.S. Senator from North Carolina and in his second term, has changed his opinion from eight years ago.
“We’re in a very different place economically or fiscally in terms of resources for the state. I know the senate supports expansion and the house has some concerns and I’ll leave it to them to decide,” he said.
The two chambers, both Republican-controlled, are not in agreement. While the state senate has voted in favor of Medicaid expansion, the state house passed a different bill that authorized North Carolina to negotiate with the federal government before a final vote, thus dragging out the process.
Tillis hopes house and senate leaders will come to an agreement.
“When you make a decision there are some people that think that has to be a decision ad infinitum, I don’t believe that. I think if we have new data, if it provides better access to care, if it provides better outcomes then look at the data before you and make that decision,” said Tillis.