Congressman Tom MacArthur defended the Republican health care bill he is credited with helping to revive and advance Wednesday night during a raucous town hall meeting that featured nearly continuous booing and shouting from angry constituents.
Well, plenty of his constituents are none to happy, and his town hall on Wednesday night proved it.
Inside the meeting MacArthur was heckled by a group critical of.
The town hall came a day after Trump fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation amid a probe into whether his campaign associates colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.
"You submitted it! You were an architect!" one person yelled, referring to his amendment.
"There's a specific statement within the proposed legislation itself, that went through the House and is now in the Senate, that says that no insurance company can decrease the access to coverage for anybody based upon a pre-existing condition", Price said.
He says he came to the Democratic part of his district because he wants to represent both sides and that he's aware of the "anxiety" in the country at the moment over health care. Another Republican source said MacArthur would consider challenging under-indictment Democratic Sen. MacArthur, who has cited his daughter's death as a reason he got involved in the health care debate, responded "shame on you".
Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) has been asked to defend his eponymous American Health Care Act amendment to some of his most formidable critics: teens. "But when I drive across the Pinelands (to Ocean County) for every one of you there's someone who disagrees with you", he told the crowd. MacArthur wrote the amendment to the American Health Care Act that revived the failed bill, delivering a legislative victory for President Trump.
Kennedy Center banquet hall was filled to capacity with about 300 people, as hundreds more gathered outside with signs and chants protesting MacArthur's position on health care as well as President Trump.
The representative was one of only two Republicans among five from the state to back the House legislation, which would dismantle Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature law.
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"What I'm anxious about is, if I lose my job, I suddenly am no longer in the market, I'm no longer covered, my governor who is not a friend of people like me right now decides to opt out". He said putting people with the highest costs in taxpayer subsidized "pools" was needed to keep them covered and bring down the costs for other consumers.
Some of the most heated exchanges came from two young students who demanded the congressman answer whether rape could count as a pre-existing condition under the Republican plan.
While health care took up most of the evening, many people also raised concerns about possible ties between the Trump administration and Russian Federation. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office estimated some 24 million people would lose coverage over the coming decade if an earlier version of the measure were to become law.
MacArthur's actions caused anger among other moderates, 20 of whom voted against the AHCA, but it set the groundwork for the bill to pass the House.
MacArthur started to respond "Well, because the tax cuts perform the same function" before being drowned out by shouts of incredulity.
But as happened so often that night, someone was ready to yell a response: "How is it more likely to survive if you're taking money out of the system and giving it back to people in the form of tax cuts?"
The bill includes almost $1 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, much of that for the very wealthy.
New Jersey was among dozens of states that opted to expand Medicaid under the ACA. Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration estimates 500,000 residents have gained coverage under the expansion, which he has touted as part of his efforts to fight the state's opioid addiction epidemic.
Aside from health care, which dominated much of the discussion, voters at the town hall appeared to be concerned about the president's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.