MacArthur health care protest on – and above – ground in Medford
Representative Tom MacArthur (R-3)'s stance on replacing the Affordable Care Act - and his efforts in that direction - bring protesters of New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) to a Monday-night meeting with residents of a Medford retirement village.
Demonstrators supplemented their ground presence at Medford Leas with aerial presence - a fly-by banner reading, "Warning: Rep. MacArthur wants to take away your health care."
Spokesperson Maura Collinsgru, in prepared remarks, underscored MacArthur's position as the sole member of New Jersey's lower-house delegation to actively work on replacing Obamacare.
The shore Republican stands by his commitment to keep the sections of ACA that help subscribers, and replace sections that fail to live up to expectations.
In a previous conversation with WOBM, he detailed insertions he crafted to keep the aborted American Health Care Act from "pulling the rug out from under people," as he described it, including tens of millions for Medicaid subscribers, young mothers and drug abusers in rehab, permanent coverage for those in Medicare expansion, and tax credits for middle-agers.
MacArthur insists that he's working in the interests of people in his district. Collinsgru's statement claims that he isn't, and demands that he begin doing so:
"Congressman MacArthur is working with President Trump and House Speaker Ryan on a bill that will take health care away from the people of this district including the seniors he is speaking with tonight. No one will be immune from the cutbacks this bill proposes. He is the only one in the NJ Congressional delegation unwilling to protect our coverage and benefits in Medicaid, the Marketplace and Medicare. All other 11 members of the NJ delegation understand the devastating impact this bill would have for our state, why can't he? It will not only hurt people, it will weaken our hospitals and other providers as well as the state's economy."
"According to New Jersey Policy Perspective research, the bill that Congress has proposed would leave nearly 34,0000 more people in this district uninsured and allow insurers to charge 307,100 New Jerseyans with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage."
"This bill tears down many of the protections and benefits millions rely on. It is not a fix. It is time for Congressman MacArthur to put people over party and join with the other New Jersey representatives who rightly oppose this bill."
Contrary to MacArthur's characterization of similar protests as hijackings of constructive local discourse, Collinsgru cites his absence from a February town-hall-type meeting, which he he didn't organize, as misreading his constituents.
Below is the February edition of WOBM's "Ask The Congressman," after which he met with protestors outside Townsquare Media's Toms River complex for 40 minutes.
NJCA, headquartered in Newark, bills itself as a grassroots organization for social and economic justice.