Republican Tom MacArthur Faces Furious Town Hall After Amendment to Repeal Obamacare

Republican who helped pass health bill faces angry voters

New Jersey Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur is being heckled at a town hall meeting over the health care overhaul he helped pass in the GOP-led House.

Several expressed incredulity that he could be responsible for the bill after his mother died of cancer when he was four years old and his daughter, who had special needs, died aged 11.

"We know about your daughter", yelled one constituent.

Another man, who said his wife had suffered from cancer and whose two children had pre-existing health conditions, told MacArthur: "You are the greatest threat to my life".

"I want every American to be able to afford to get health care".

"Come on, are you serious?" yelled one constituent.

"We seem to have a pattern that people who are investigating (Trump's ties to Russia) keep getting fired", said one woman to laughter and applause.

Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) have emerged as national figures during the weeks of negotiations to push a Obamacare replacement bill through the House.

MacArthur has insisted that people with pre-existing conditions would continue to be protected, and that an alternative to the Obama law was desperately needed due to skyrocketing insurance premiums and decreasing consumer choices from insurers leaving individual state markets. "I recognize there's a lot of anxiety in this country and a lot of anger", he said, drawing more jeers and interruptions.

"That would mean that my diabetes would get out of control, my foot would probably get worse, and I'd probably end up in hospital and losing my house", Storicks said to The Guardian on the repealing of the ACA.

"I have lost trust in you, Tom, and am very disappointed in your actions", she said.

During a Friday roundtable discussion, Menendez sat down with a group of women who said that they rely on Obamacare and that the AHCA puts their health care at risk.

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Under MacArthur's amendment, people with pre-existing conditions couldn't be denied coverage, but they could be charged more if they let their coverage lapse and if they live in states that opt out of the protection for people with pre-existing conditions known as community rating.

Menendez criticized the Republican plan because it would make deep cuts to Medicaid - almost $900 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office - because it would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, leading to a domino effect that would likely hike health care costs for women who depend on those clinics.

"I get that you don't agree with me. But I don't agree with you", said one of the attendees.

"The Senate chair and the ranking member have both declared that they're working together", said MacArthur.

Several people asked about the president's decision this week to fire FBI Director James Comey and asked Rep. MacArthur to call for a special prosecutor to continue the investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

The room also became contentious when MacArthur explained that his bill will not cut Medicaid.

Inside certified medical assistant Geoff Ginter, 47, stole the show from the front row, subjecting a red-faced MacArthur to a 10-minute monologue lashing the health bill as "immoral".

"I don't think anyone in the room is convinced by what he said", Confoy told ThinkProgress.

At times, MacArthur admitted that his legislation isn't ideal.

But the CBO has yet to score the bill following the changes made by MacArthur and other lawmakers.

They waved green fabric into the air when they liked what they heard and raised red fabric when they disagreed.

"Maybe no matter what I do, half the people will be disappointed with me half the time". "I wonder, I really wonder how any of you would perform in Congress with that attitude".

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