Assemblyman Anthony Bucco fired back at his Democratic challengers on Tuesday following an attack leveled by the two over his healthcare record.
“Bhimani and Draeger need to get their facts straight. If they had spent five minutes looking at my voting record from as recently as five days ago, they’d see I’ve already supported many of the bills they’re demanding action on in the legislature,” Bucco said. “From extending dependent insurance coverage to age 26, to supporting coverage for preexisting conditions, I have a long list of bipartisan votes including enhanced Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and prenatal services.”
Bucco and his running mate, Denville Councilman Brian Bergen, face Lisa Bhimani and Chester Democratic Municipal Chairwoman Darcy Draeger in the general.
On Monday, the two Democrats hit Bucco over his votes on bills that would cap insurance rates and establish regulations on out-of-network billing, among other things.
In his defense, Bucco highlighted more recent votes he made on bills codifying some of the protections offered by the Affordable Care Act at the state level, including a bill allowing individuals to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they turn 26.
The Democratic candidates called for that bill to be passed on Monday.
They also called for the creation of a state-based health exchange that mirrors the system created by the ACA over fears that congressional Republicans, who have long viewed President Barack Obama’s signature policy as a target, would finally succeed in repealing the ACA.
Bucco said called the program duplicative and wasteful.
“Based on their past support for a Bernie Sanders-style healthcare system, it’s no surprise Bhimani and Draeger would push more big government programs that spend our money in Trenton at the same time Phil Murphy is slashing millions of dollars in school aid to our local districts,” Bucco said. “Maybe next time they can do a Google search before falsely attacking my bipartisan record.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders backs a Medicare for All plan that is not comparable to the ACA.