During a tense town hall on Wednesday night, New Jersey residents raged at their Republican congressman, Rep. Tom MacArthur, for his crucial role in helping pass the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. One man in particular drew applause for his especially fiery denunciation of MacArthur.
MacArthur, a former insurance industry executive, authored an amendment that got the far-right House Freedom Caucus on board with the American Health Care Act. This allowed House Republicans to finally pass their much-maligned bill. For his efforts, MacArthur was rewarded with nearly five full hours of voter anger at a town hall in Willingboro, NJ.
One of the hundreds of people who turned out for the event was Geoff Ginter, a Pine Beach, NJ resident. He told MacArthur an emotional story about his wife and children, all of whom have pre-existing conditions.
MacArthur’s amendment supposedly ensures people with pre-existing medical conditions cannot be denied coverage, but still gives insurance companies the right to charge sick people whatever astronomical rates they want. Ginter said he was worried about the survival of his wife, who recently had cancer, and children.
“You have been the single greatest threat to my family in the entire world,” Ginter told MacArthur. “You are the reason I stay up at night. You are the reason I can’t sleep.”
For his part, MacArthur acknowledged that heard his constituents’ fears about losing their health care “loud and clear” but insisted, “Nobody with a pre-existing condition will either be declined coverage or priced out of being able to buy insurance.”
The remark elicited boos from the audience, according to a report from Politico, with one person yelling: “You’re a liar. Have you read your own bill?”
It’s awfully difficult to look a voter who’s getting ready for the ground to fall out beneath his feet in the face and tell him you did the politically expedient thing, one that affords him much more personal liberty, by backing the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. It’s no wonder that none of the politically vulnerable Republicans who voted to pass the AHCA scheduled town halls while they’re back in their home districts.
To that end, it’s absolutely worth knowing how your elected officials voted on this legislative abomination so you can let them know, as loudly as as often as possible, just how you feel about it.