In response to Sen. Tillis’ recent message on the [Xpress online] Community Bulletin [“Senator Thom Tillis Shares Tips for Coping With COVID-19,” May 8]:
While Sen. Tillis is correct that caring for our mental health is more important than ever amid this health crisis, I must say that I am unimpressed by the senator’s letter. It is one thing for the senator to share resources and tips — it is another entirely to look at his abysmal record of stripping away our health care, including mental health care.
Sen. Tillis has voted repeatedly against the Affordable Care Act and, while he was North Carolina Speaker of the House, he [helped to prevent] North Carolina from expanding Medicaid. By not expanding Medicaid, he has prevented over 600,000 of North Carolinians from getting health care coverage. In 2014, he said repealing the Affordable Care Act was one of his top priorities in the Senate. He [voted to gut] protections for people with preexisting conditions and increase prescription drug costs.
North Carolinians are currently dying from a lack of health care access — and they were before the pandemic — but the senator’s only solution for us seems to be trying new recipes and calling our friends. The senator’s actions speak louder than his words. His votes against health care are also votes against mental health.
With November rapidly approaching, I’m sure Tillis is starting to feel the mounting pressure of a competitive election — and he should. As an organizer with NextGen North Carolina, I know that young people aren’t falling for his charades. People ages 18-25 experience the highest rates of mental illness, yet receive the least care. We’re planning to register over 30,000 young North Carolinians before November, and we are going to hold Sen. Tillis accountable for his role in this health crisis. Fluff talking points aren’t going to change that.
— Nicole Skinner