First Lady Tammy Murphy headlined a press conference hitting Rep. Tom MacArthur over his record on women’s issues.
While Murphy’s attacks on the congressmen were broad and brief, others present at the event, including New Jersey Citizen Action Program Director Ann Vardeman and HPAE State President Debbie White, attempted to paint MacArthur as anti-woman for his role in the drafting of the since-doomed American Health Care Act
“The fact that he helped pass the legislation to give tax breaks to wealthy and to the big corporations on the one hand, and he has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act on the other hand,” Murphy said. “That in and of itself should be enough for all of us here in our great state of New Jersey to say no way, no more.”
The event’s other speakers focused largely on MacArthur’s health care record and his opposition to the ACA, which prohibited insurers from charging higher premiums based on a customer’s sex.
The AHCA would have kept that provision intact, but groups like the Kaiser Family Foundation worried at the time that AHCA rules allowing insurers to hike premiums for those with lapsed coverage could disproportionately affect rates for women, especially young ones.
“Tom MacArthur has time and again voted against women and their families,” said Ann Vardeman, program director for New Jersey Citizen Action. “MacArthur masquerades as a moderate but the truth is he has voted in line with the Trump administration 94.6 percent of the time. His votes have threatened women’s health care, their livelihoods and their very lives and have set us back in the continuing fight for equality. The only way forward for women is to vote Tom MacArthur out of office.”
MacArthur’s campaign, rarely one to take punches lying down, responded with an attack of its own.
“We would suggest it takes a tremendous amount of chutzpah to do a press conference lecturing anyone about how women should be treated in light of what we learned about the inner workings of the Murphy campaign and administration in the last couple weeks,” MacArthur strategist Chris Russell said in a statement.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 5:41 p.m.