GOP author of the amendment that pushed Trumpcare through the House faces the music
Rep. Tom MacArthur was the only New Jersey Republican in the House to vote for both Trumpcare and the tax bill. For those reasons, he is in a very tight race right now against Democrat Andy Kim. That made a recent telephone town hall he did with 1,200 AARP members challenging for him.
That health-care amendment that bears his name, credited with saving, temporarily, the Republican effort to repeal the law?
“It was only a two-page amendment,” MacArthur tells the seniors on this nearly one-hour-long AARP telephone town hall. “A lot has been made of this so-called MacArthur amendment.”
Yes, it has. That’s because that amendment supposedly “fixed” the problem that they were jettisoning protections for people with pre-existing conditions by letting states jettison those protections, keeping them in name only. AARP called the amendment an “age tax,” because that was one key feature; it allowed insurers to charge people over 50 a lot more for coverage. That’s the flimsy peg Republicans are hanging all their lies about “protecting” people with pre-existing conditions on, that they gave lip service to the idea in this amendment. Written by MacArthur. He’s also in trouble because of his vote for the tax bill that caps the deduction on state and local taxes (SALT) at $10,000. That hurts a lot of voters in New Jersey and New York, as well as California, because of the state and local taxes they pay.
And yet MacArthur tried to convince these voters that he’s really a great bipartisan guy, and that New Jersey needs him because (this is rich) Trump will work with him and listen to him because he’s not “shooting spitballs” at Trump. “We need people that will work with the president when he’s right, and that will stop him when he goes down the wrong path, which he does sometimes.” Like on birthright citizenship, which MacArthur says he has supported for a long time.
“All this division and hatred is not good for America,” he told the seniors on the line with AARP. “You won’t find me taking cheap shots or being ugly with people who disagree with me.” That’s news to his opponent Kim, the son of South Korean immigrants. MacArthur stood by silently while the Congressional Leadership Fund ran some of the most racist ads of the cycle, including one that out-and-out says Kim is “not one of us.” Just look at this campaign mailer Republicans sent last month against Kim, showing dead fish on ice and saying there’s something “real fishy” about Andy Kim. The font they used to spell out his name and “real fishy” is actually called “Chop Suey.” So subtle.