Groups that backed Rep.-elect Andy Kim in his race against Rep. Tom MacArthur narrowly focused their messaging on a vulnerability MacArthur did not share with any of the state’s other incumbent Republican congressmen — the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
“Tom MacArthur led the fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Ann Vardeman, program director of New Jersey Citizen Action. “Once he did that, we set out to ensure the voters of New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District held him accountable for trying to take health care away from 23 million Americans.”
MacArthur authored an Amendment to the Republican replacement to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which died in the Senate after passing the House, and he was the only member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation to vote in favor of the bill.
The plan’s detractors, as well as non-partisan reviews, said the AHCA could price out consumers with preexisting conditions, effectively ending protections created by the ACA.
Kim aired ads attacking MacArthur over his record on the issue, and groups like Citizen Action, the New Jersey branch of CWA and SEIU local 1199 pushed the issue in their own messaging.
“CWA has more members in the Third District than any other competitive House district in the country this year. And they were outraged to learn that Tom MacArthur took extraordinary steps to destroy health care for millions of Americans, all to provide tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy,” said CWA New Jersey political director Seth Hahn. “Whether on the doors, on the phones, or in discussions at worksites, the one thing that resonated the most — particularly with members who had supported Tom MacArthur in the past — was telling the story of MacArthur’s record on health care.”