Former Obama staffer Andy Kim ousted Rep. Tom MacArthur, the GOP's chief health care saboteur.
Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) played a lead role in trying to take away health care from millions of families and rip protections away from people with pre-existing conditions. In the end, voters decided to take away his job instead, voting for Democratic former President Obama staffer Andy Kim.
MacArthur, a sophomore congressman and staunch Trump loyalist, authored the "MacArthur amendment" to the Republican health care bill. The amendment allowed health insurance companies to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions, potentially increasing the cost of health care by thousands of dollar every year.
NBC News notes that the attempt to hike the cost of health insurance for cancer survivors, asthma patients, and others "didn't sit well with some voters in his district."
Rather than attack people's access to health care, Kim ran a campaign focused on protecting it.
"Our campaign was about the issues — about affordable health care for all Americans; about fair taxes for New Jersey families; and about a government that works for the people," Kim said in a recent statement.
Kim comes to Congress with an impressive background. He is a Rhodes Scholar, has a doctorate in international relations, and served on the National Security Council under President Obama.
Kim becomes the first Korean-American in 20 years to go to Congress, adding to an increasingly diverse group of new Democratic members.
NBC News notes that the race was a longshot, as the district backed Trump by 6 points in 2016. But in the end, voters rejected MacArthur's attacks on health care, as well as his support of the disastrous GOP tax scam.
Kim's victory is also a turning point for New Jersey as a whole. Kim's is the fourth district the state flipped from red to blue in the 2018 midterms, adding to Democrats' growing majority in the House of Representatives.
New Jersey's 12-member congressional delegation will soon have 11 Democrats, and only one Republican.
It seems that devout loyalty to Trump combined with unrelenting efforts to sabotage health care is not a winning campaign message in 2018.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.