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House Republicans are bracing themselves for encounters with angry constituents when they return to their districts this weekend after casting votes on legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), the centrist who negotiated the amendment that helped bring the House GOP’s healthcare bill over the finish line, expects his town hall next Wednesday could get rowdy.
MacArthur noted the event is being held in Willingboro, N.J., where he only won 10 percent of the vote in the last election.
“This is a not a town that’s going to perhaps be thrilled with this. But I will meet my constituents and talk to them and tell them why and help them understand that what they hear in the media and what fearmongerers are trying to whip up is simply not the truth,” MacArthur said just off the House floor after Thursday’s 217-213 vote on the healthcare bill.
MacArthur has risen in prominence since crafting an amendment to the healthcare legislation with conservative House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) that would allow states to apply for waivers from key ObamaCare provisions.
The amendment to the bill gives states the chance to be exempted from rules that prevent insurance companies from charging sick people higher premiums and that mandate the services health plans must cover. To win a waiver, a state would have to meet certain conditions, including offering high-risk pools of insurance coverage for the sick.
The change has heightened the controversy surrounding the bill, with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel making waves nationally with an emotional late-night monologue about pre-existing conditions where he talked of his son’s congenital heart disease.
GOP lawmakers facing the public are arming themselves with one primary message: they had to do something besides keep the status quo of ObamaCare.
“This bill isn’t perfect. It doesn’t include every single component I wanted. But it came down to the [GOP bill] or the continued disaster of ObamaCare, which was an easy choice,” House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) wrote in a Washington Post…