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Chief AHCA Architect Faces Furious Town Hall Chanting 'Single Payer'

Chief AHCA Architect Faces Furious Town Hall Chanting 'Single Payer'

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), one of the chief architects of the GOP's healthcare plan, faced five hours of questions and booing from hundreds of constituents at a forum Wednesday night in his hometown of Willingboro as "Payback Recess" continued.


Our entire country must chant ‘Single Payer.’


The town hall process depicted here is really infantilizing: the classroom-like meek raising of hands, the authority figure scolding those unruly brats for not respecting their neighbors (which conveniently also deflects away from the hard issues the people are raising), etc. I’ve seen the same vibe in other town halls.

These elected goons must be constantly put on the defensive, and the people must accept no scolding.


This pretentious and contentious “sophomore lawmaker” and his “sophomoric” arguments to validate this Death Act are enraging. (sophomoric: conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature). May his bid for re-election FAIL BIGLY! He and his emperor speak the same foul, fallacious language…“successful (???) business men” that they profess to be.


So cancer survivors and people with other serious pre-existing conditions are the same as the people that stood up and ranted in 2009 and 2010 about a Maoist takeover of the healthcare system (which was, by the way, largely based on ideas that emerged from the right wing in the 1990’s)? No qualitative difference in the arguments or any differences as far as how disconnected the two groups are in regards to objective reality? Okay. Are these politicians liars, mediocre people and thinkers, or both?

By the way, the Democrats aren’t tons better. They defend the ACA, and that is good, considering what the alternative is, but the system still kills people and is not sustainable, and when these rats are pressed, they can’t explain exactly what their vision is in regards to healthcare. They say they want to improve it, but doing what exactly, since improving the ACA would necessitate having the system more closely resemble single payer, for example allowing the government to use its economies of scale to bargain down the price of drugs. Corrupt politicians have made that impossible. Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave the standard line about single payer when she said that pushing for single payer would mean, in the meantime, a dismantling of the ACA. Using what freaking logic? She also said that she didn’t want to “put all her eggs in one basket” (which was single payer), but then said she wanted to put all her eggs in one basket, which was to improve the ACA. With what exactly? Who knows. Feinstein said that she is against single payer because she is against a “complete government takeover” of the healthcare system (which she said about a week before attending a fundraising with healthcare and pharma lobbyists), which reveals a horrible ignorance about what single payer is, and I could go on. We need a revolution, and these people (in both parties) need to be thrown out on their ass. Whatever good some of them did decades ago doesn’t justify them continuing to stay in power in 2018 or thereafter. About 97% of our reps are not primaried, which is pathetic. Their time should be over. If you liked things they did in the past, thank them for their work and vote for their primary challenger or a third party option. Feinstein and her husband are rich, let them enjoy their accumulated wealth on a nice California beach. Retire and get out the damn way. Subsequent generations have a lot of work cleaning up the mess she, her “centrist” friends and those to her right created for us all.


– maybe we ought to focus on not letting the Rethugricans destroy what has already been accomplished.

Very well said.


Keep holding these sociopaths accountable. They really, really hate it when their constituents hold them accountable. And don’t forget to remind them it’s less than 18 months until the next Congressional elections.


Receiving WH email “Your 1600 Daily” (forgot if/how I signed up for that). Today’s propaganda states:

“Yesterday, Aetna announced they will be exiting the Obamacare marketplace exchanges completely by 2018. Aetna is one of the largest health insurers in the nation, and its withdrawal shows yet again how Obamacare is failing the American people. President Donald J. Trump is committed to repealing the disaster known as Obamacare. The President continues to work with Congress to deliver for the American people the healthcare solution they deserve.”

A disaster, because Aetna CEO Bertiloni is underpaid.


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It’s the insurance companies that are destroying healthcare because they do not want to insure those who are poor, and they would not get the huge obscene profits they gain both the company and their CEO’s. It’s not the ACA. We need a single payer universal healthcare plan which would do away with all of this!


it’s easy to understand the frustration & anger about the new healthcare bill and about the dishonesty of its architects and promoters. Still, speaking as a single-payer advocate, I found the the lack of courtesy by a number among the crowd both embarrassing and disappointing. I’ve come to expect such rudeness from the political right but not from liberals. At least at the beginning, they made MacArthur actually look good in comparison. They should have at least given the guy the courtesy of speaking of his hopes for discourse and of listening to his introduction, given that he promised that he’d be there to listen as long as people wanted.

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This guy is one of the architects of a bill with the potential and virtual certainty of killing millions of people, while these murderers are enhancing the already overflowing coffers of the .1% and you talk of courtesy???
A more basic crowd would have lynched him!


I actually worry that the Republicans might be smart with these townhalls. They sit and take the abuse–not undeserved per se–but end up looking more reasonable. It’s not unlike Nixon, subtly goading protesters, knowing he would benefit from their reactions.

I fully expected such a response, given the righteous anger. There is still a place for common courtesy: if we expect it to be given those (few) who are on our side, we should be willing to give it in kind, no matter how strong and reasonable our disagreement is.
There was going to be plenty of time for venting of anger, holding him accountable, etc.

Furthermore, it hurts the credibility of our arguments and cause when we resort to shouting and hyperbole. We should be more strategic. That’s all I’m saying.

I don’t know if it works here. This healthcare plan will result in people dying and the people pushing for it are being confronted by its victims. I don’t think they look reasonable, I think they look heartless. Nixon wasn’t directly confronted by his Vietnamese victims, I’m not sure how reasonable he would have looked if he was and he essentially shrugged it off in front of a room full of people. It isn’t like people are angry about philosophical differences, they’re angry about themselves, their families and friends dying. That’s why most of em aren’t doing these town halls.

Think about what you are saying. People, often the people reacting with anger, will die because of this. You are face to face with the person whose decision might kill you, your spouse, your child. How do you not confront them? The issue in that instance isn’t you being angry and showing it, it’s the killer and their decision. The issue isn’t being human, it’s them making this decision behind closed doors, with no scoring or estimates on its impact or any hearings, not caring about its actual impact, getting their bribes and then focusing on how their victims of getting all worked up. You know, this health care bill would set off an actual revolution in some countries. Not an exaggeration, lots of people would visibly revolt. We are just used to having a health care system that results in thousands of people dying, going broke, and paying far too much for crappy care. Imagine, as popular as Medicare is in Canada, if the right wing there pushed through this monstrosity. You wouldn’t be worried about how some killer (which is what these people are) came under attack in front of his victims, you’d be taking cover. It’s gotten to that point it seems here. About freaking time.

I hope you are right.

The big insurance companies and the Repugs in Congress are in collusion to destroy what’s left of ACA. Vote these people out and break up the insurance co. and make these people work for a living like the rest of us.

As I said, I certainly get (and share) the anger in response to this bill and the cynicism and lack of humanity behind it. So I am not at all suggesting that people shouldn’t confront their legislator - honestly giving voice to their thoughts and feelings.

But how we address issues and resolve differences / conflict does matter. I’d question what those who erupted, even before the Representative opened the meeting to questions, hoped to accomplish? If it is only to vent spleen, and not to persuade (him or anyone watching the affair from the video, etc.), then my criticism is indeed misplaced.

Calling the legislator a murderer is hyperbole, no matter how well one crafts a linkage between passage of this bill, and the possibility of deaths that might have been avoided with adequate, affordable health insurance were available.

If you feel that such language is appropriate in this instance, then you must also apply it to all those who’ve ever helped block single payer or nationalized health care, who helped put the insurance companies in control, etc. You could just as well call Obama & every Democrat who enabled Obamacare a killer, because there were already plenty who could not afford adequate coverage, and likely more over time as the insurance companies further squeezed the public for profit. .And the directors and officers of every pharmaceutical manufacturer that prices potentially life-saving drugs beyond the means of most.

At some point, the use of hyperbole weakens the power of the words. And at some point, if we don’t want to confirm to opponents their prejudicial views about us, we ought to consider the impressions we make.

In that town hall meeting, If I wanted the Rep. to hear my points or even just my anger, I’d have wanted to let the Rep make his introductory/ explanatory remarks, and honoring the reasonable request to make it fair to all, before letting him have it… instead of preventing him from even speaking. That way, he might see me and the other attendees as people worthy of his respect and attention, instead of just an angry mob. Then again, I’ve never felt that mobs were particularly effective at doing much more then venting steam.

“You could just as well call Obama & every Democrat who enabled Obamacare a killer, because there were already plenty who could not afford adequate coverage, and likely more over time as the insurance companies further squeezed the public for profit.”

No, you can’t. It isn’t the same thing, at least not yet. Obama at least expanded coverage to people that wouldn’t have otherwise gotten it, the Republicans will do the reverse. I don’t see how the two are comparable. Moving forward however, to any Democrat that says that they oppose single payer, if they can’t come up with a concrete proposal as to how to move us further down the road towards universal coverage, yes, their decision will result in people dying and I would say that they are responsible for the impact of their policy choice. I think they should have to defend the actual impact of their policies and not hide behind their BS bumper stickers.

“And the directors and officers of every pharmaceutical manufacturer that prices potentially life-saving drugs beyond the means of most.”

Those very companies had to be fought tooth and nail when the WTO was formed to allow for public health exceptions to intellectual property rights norms at the WTO, so places like Africa could get access to things like generic AIDS and malaria drugs. Countries like Thailand, Brazil, India and China had to fight the Clinton administration in order to do that, and that has slowly been clawed back. Those same countries still have to fight for different patents laws and exceptions to things like TRIPS. Many of the free trade deals, like CAFTA, force countries with single payer systems to buy non-generic drugs for a period of time, which results in those countries paying far more for drugs than they should. People die as a result, since some countries simply can’t afford all of the drugs they need. Thanks to corrupt politicians, the government here cannot use its economies of scale to bargain down the price of drugs. That too costs people their lives. Couple this with the fact that the public, in various ways, pays as much as half of all R & D costs and the insanely protectionist intellectual property rights regime at the WTO. That doesn’t benefit society at large. Obama was negotiating the TPP and was pushing for it to allow the “evergreening” of drugs, where a company could do a slight modification on a drug, which would allow it to extend its monopoly further. That also results in people dying and is a transfer from the general public to those artificial monopolies. I think its a moral outrage and so does a good portion of the country. It is simply profit being prioritized over the well being of people. This is radicalizing people, in case you haven’t noticed.

As far as your larger point, I think the actions of the people being yelled at is the damn outrage and I think the anger people have is in response to what these killers are doing. If you want to focus on the anger people feel at these people and how they act versus the immoral things they’re doing, fine, but don’t assume everyone else agrees with you. I think most people are spitting mad at this rotten system, as they should be.

Beyond all that, despite peoples’ anger, I think the overwhelming majority of people challenging these politicians have been articulate, knowledgeable and have generally kicked their ass. They might be angry, but they’re also explaining perfectly well why they are angry.