Republican U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr are co-sponsoring legislation in Congress to exempt compensation North Carolina is providing to victims of the state's forced sterilization program from calculations the government uses to determine eligibility for Medicaid and other federal benefits.
In an op-ed column in the weekend edition of USA Today, Tillis said he recently learned that the compensation payments were having the unintended consequence of affecting federal benefits the eugenics victims were already receiving.
"Presently, the federal government counts the payments against one’s eligibility for federal benefits such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance," he wrote. "Instead of helping the victims and their families make ends meet, the payments could actually result in the denial of the federal benefits they are entitled to."
"I am encouraged to see such broad, bipartisan support among my colleagues to help ensure living eugenics victims receive their full compensation payments and federal benefits. I also hope this legislation will raise awareness across the nation over the fact that these deplorable government-sanctioned programs existed in the first place. The stories of the terrible transgressions made against innocent Americans like Willis Lynch deserve to be heard and never forgotten," Tillis wrote.
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