New Jersey Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur, who was one of many who saved Trumpcare from being scrapped, expected to return home to a hero’s welcome.
He had another thing coming.
During a town hall meeting, angry constituents wanted answers to his vote and his role in crafting the GOP health care bill. They also demanded that he begin working immediately on calling for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Donald Trump’s conspired with Russia to win the presidential election campaign.
Through boos and jeers from his constituents, MacArthur defended the American Health Care Act even when confronted by the very people he had handed death sentences to.
Derek Reichenbecher, 38, who has a heart condition, summed up everyone’s disbelief when confronting MacArthur.
It was dead in the water until you revived it! This is my life. Without health care coverage, I’m dead. I’m dead.
MacArthur attempted to play the devil’s advocate when he argued that members of congress don’t get to vote on bills that they wish were in front of them. His constituents reminded him that he was the one that had submitted the bill and was personally responsible for an amendment to the bill that made it pass easier. He was even asked about the rush to pass the bill without giving the Congressional Budget Office the chance to evaluate the costs and effects of it. Things got worse for him when they questioned the portion of the bill that gives the wealthiest Americans a $594 billion dollar tax cut over the course of 10 years.
Towards the end of the meeting, the constituents began asking questions about Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. Even going as far as demanding that MacArthur call for an independent investigation into his dismissal and the Trump campaign’s possible conspiracy with Russia.
MacArthur attempted to sidestep the demands when he responded:
A special prosecutor is appointed by the president’s attorney general. I don’t see that as some silver bullet.
The most insulting fact of the situation is that MacArther buried a special needs daughter Grace at 11 years old who would not be covered thanks to the GOP health care bill. A constituent who lost his wife to brain cancer reminded him of that. MacArthur assured him that he sympathized to which the constituent replied:
You went through worse. That’s why I can’t rationalize where you’re coming from.
The bill passed the House, 217 to 213. All Democrats and 20 Republicans voting against it.
The worst part? Even Republican voters such as Kim Hicks criticized MacArthur and the entire bill:
It’s not true at all. It’s just a cruel policy. The whole bill is cruel. There’s no compassion in it. He’s such a hypocrite. He’s going to uninsure 24 million people.
One can only marvel at someone who blatantly defends a bill that insults anyone with a shred of human decency. It takes cojones to stand in front of someone and say “You survived Reagan-omics, both Bush administrations, and sexual assault. Unfortunately, sexual assault is a pre-existing condition…yeah sorry, buddy.”
Featured image by Eric Thayer/Getty Images