Frelinghuysen Changes Position, Votes to Repeal Obamacare

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) voted today for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

“The earlier version of the House-proposed American Health Care Act was unacceptable to me,” Frelinghuysen said in a statement. “Today, I want to reassure New Jersey families that this legislation protects those with pre-existing conditions and restores essential health benefits.”

Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd Dist.), Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) and Leonard Lance (R-7th Dist.) voted no as did every Democratic member of the state’s congressional delegation. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3rd Dist.) cast the only (other) yes vote, reports NJ.com.

Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic) issued the following statement on today’s vote. Gill was the sponsor of legislation to create a state health exchange, also known as the Marketplace. She also sponsored legislation to expand Medicaid under the ACA:

“What we saw in Washington today was disgraceful. In a single day, Republicans scheduled and voted to dismantle the law that provided health care coverage to an additional 20 million Americans, including more than 700,000 in New Jersey. They voted to strip away provisions that require insurers to include emergency room and maternity coverage in their policies. They also voted to eliminate the broad prohibition on insurance companies charging more for coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, under the so-called MacArthur amendment. It is shameful that the sponsor of this proposal is from New Jersey.

“People all across the country and in this state would be devastated by this bill, and Republicans arrived on Capitol Hill to take the vote literally in celebration.

“We have a responsibility to protect our residents. Today prior to the vote, Paul Ryan said, ‘Let’s return power from Washington to the states.’ Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what I am going to do.

“I will introduce legislation to ensure that essential health benefits are protected for New Jersey residents. In addition, I am currently reviewing how we can best ensure that people with pre-existing conditions aren’t discriminated against in order to protect them from being charged more for coverage.

“Health care is a human right and we must guarantee that this right is protected under the Trump Administration. New Jersey must begin to explore implementing a universal health care system that can protect residents over the long term. I am proud to say that I will be sponsoring legislation in the Senate to do this and will be introducing it at our next quorum.”

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44 COMMENTS

  1. If you look at the make up of his district he voted according to the majority of his constituents wishes. He wins by landslides…Democracy at work. You may not agree with the policies of the people that vote for him but they have a right to representation.

  2. Great. ACA should be replaced. Get the insurance companies out of the health care business. Expand Medicare and Medicaid.

  3. Frelinghuysen opposed the first version of Trumpcare, and then voted for a second version that was even worse. angryrabbit is right — he IS a disgrace.

  4. This chucklehead was a coward who couldn’t face his constituents with a town hall meeting. He is a failure on every level and is an embarrassment to the Frelinghuysen name. Since he seems hell bent on removing President Obama’s name from the record perhaps we should start a petition to have Frelinghuysen Avenue changed to President Barak Obama Blvd, it would be more representative of the people that use it.

    We need to look past the “safe” district and recognize that he has moved to take health insurance away from over tens of thousands of people in his district. We need to make sure after the 2020 census that the NJ congressional districts stop protecting people like Sir Rodney the coward.

  5. His district was almost an equal split between Clinton and Trump last election. He’s in a lot of trouble in 2018 and he knows it. He’s trying to keep his head buried in the sand and hope he can ride this out. Voters have to make sure we don’t let him.

  6. @flipside–I have looked at the map. CD11 went about 50/50 Trump/Hillary. It’s a deeply moderate district. Rodney’s voting record (as per 538) is 100% with Trump.

    Next up, he will embrace Ryan/Trump’s tax plan, which will raise taxes on NJ homeowners. And then he’s going to deeply underfund the Gateway Tunnel project. And he’s going to hope we don’t notice his role in this.

    If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’d know he hasn’t represented his district in a long, long time.

  7. “And then he’s going to deeply underfund the Gateway Tunnel project.”

    The Democrats already did this. They had many chances and punted the football into the end zone each time. So, you might be right. The Republicans haven’t indicated fixing the rail problems is a priority, either. And the tunnel is not the main issue. I really don’t understand why voters keep focusing on the tunnel. If they do decide to build a new tunnel, you’re kids will be out of school by the time they finish it. It’s going to take another 18 months just to fix the damage in Hoboken. And the ticket prices keep going up.

    Regardless, neither party has stepped up to address the problems and now it has blown up in all their faces. It is going to be one long year for commuters. You might as well live in Pennsylvania because NJT will just stagger the delays and it won’t matter whether you 15 or 50 miles from NYC.

  8. “The Republicans haven’t indicated fixing the rail problems is a priority, either.”

    —Hilariously understated. Rs interested in destruction, not fixing. But this rhetorical nonsense allows Mr Rubacky to play his Both Sides card, which is lazy and tiresome.

    “If they do decide to build a new tunnel, you’re kids will be out of school by the time they finish it.”

    —the fact that the Gateway project was cancelled 7 years ago is richly ironic here, but again, Mr Rubacky’s hand wringing and obfuscation lead only to inertia on this critical issue. When someone who doesn’t care about your kids makes reference to their future, it’s just an indication that THEY won’t be around to use it, so why bother. It’s short sighted, solipsistic self pity masking as policy.

  9. Gateway Tunnel a critical issue? Now that’s funny. Maybe in a sentence or two you could explain?

  10. Flip side neatly ignores the fact that NJ 11th was one of the most heavy handed of the Republican gerrymanders back in the early 1980s, after many decades representing NJ’s overwhelming Democratic majority. It’s boundaries are a travesty of zig-zags, cleaving counties, towns, and even streets in its determination to appear Republican. But you know all that, Flipside

  11. I don’t understand what you libs want – a healthcare system that is absolutely imploding on itself, has raised costs, is a huge job killer – It’s insanity. Listen to members of congress who meet with constituents around the country that tell nightmare stories about horrible premium increases, and their hours being capped at 29.9 per week due to this horrendous legislation.

    Thank god they passed this option and will revise it and refine it even more in the Senate hopefully. Good for Frelinghuysen for his vote!

  12. cmnews, it ain’t just ‘you libs’ ( how ridiculous is that comment ) who detest the House bill. The bill is grotesque, and you know it. The Senate knows it, and that’s why they’re starting from scratch. I’m grateful I don’t have an infant with a birth defect resting in my arms while I watch Ryan and his buddies drinking beer and sneering in the Rose Garden. Sick crew, the whole lot.

  13. Many Republican politicians think not having enough money to pay one’s own medical bills is some sort of moral failing. It’s not. A lot of it is just random bad luck. I’m a middle-class person who had a daughter born terminally ill because of a genetic disease. The medical bills were ridiculous. What saved me and my wife from years of financial disaster was having most of the bills paid by Medicaid — which many Republican politicians would love to slash because it’s a government program rather than a private, for-profit business. Frelinghuysen, with all his inherited millions, doesn’t have a clue about what it’s like to not have the money to deal with a health emergency. His vote for Trumpcare was heartless.

  14. But then again, we have to give Rodney the benefit of the doubt – I mean, how else was he going to come up with the monies to fund tax cuts for himself and the other 1 percenters ?

  15. True, johnqp! Much of this health-care debacle is about making the rich even richer with tax cuts they don’t remotely need.

  16. “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care” – Rep. Raúl R. Labrador, (R- Idaho) – 5/5/2017

  17. Only the most die-hard Republicans would say “Let’s return power from Washington to Gov Chris Christie.”

  18. Silverleaf – when I read Labrador’s quote, I think of that train yard scene in ‘Gone With The Wind’, A sea of injured Confederate soldiers are laying around the plaza, with the Stars and Bars flying overhead. There’s only one doctor on the premises. But if Labrador is correct, none of those soldiers could have possibly died, just because ‘they don’t have access to health care’.

  19. No actually the bill is not grotesque – what is, are the thwarted views on this post, the continual believe that all wealthy people and republicans are just out to get richer at the expense & peril of others. It’s ridiculous and a caricature of reality that is SO tired & old it’s pathetic.

    The bill is not perfect and will get revised in the Senate. What is different and much better is the approach. Rather than Pelosi’s nearly 2,000 page government take-over of our healthcare system written by lobbyists, this plan lowering healthcare premiums for families and small businesses…increasing access to AFFORDABLE high quality plans.

    Other things I like:
    cover pre-existing by establishing Universal Access Programs
    end junk lawsuits
    prevent insurers from fraudulently canceling a policy
    encourage small business healthcare plans
    encourage innovative state programs and allow buying across state lines to increase competition, quality of care & lower premiums.
    And enhance health savings accounts

    I know you will never agree, and Dave really sorry about your daughter – but stop demonizing people who disagree with your view. Everyone wants our healthcare system to succeed – we just disagree on what’s the best approach. We have several doctors and nurses in our family and I can tell you Obamacare was a NIGHTMARE imploding in on itself. The GOP believes in free market approaches – you can disagree, but to continually assign evil motives is just ridiculous.

  20. The bill is not grotesque ?? Then how do you explain that wonderful list of exclusionary pre-existing conditions ?

  21. The GOP Senate realizes the bill for what it is : political kryptonite. Nevertheless, they will eventually ( in several months?) produce their own “moderated” version of Trumpcare and send it back to their colleagues for reconciliation – and that’s where things will run into a buzzsaw with the Tea Party faction – who btw, should also be listed as a pre-existing condition.

  22. I appreciate the mention, cmnews. But I guess I’m wondering: If Trumpcare is better than Obamacare (in a work-in-progress sort of way), why the frantic rush to approve it? Why not wait for the NONPARTISAN Congressional Budget Office to take a look at the GOP bill? Then, if the CBO gave it a thumb’s up, the Republican plan would have credibility. Instead, I believe the GOP was scared about what the CBO will say about the bill — including how it will lead to millions fewer insured.

    Spiro, I like that “Gone With the Wind” analogy!

  23. STQ – Yes, and the solopistic Scarlett among the dead and dying frantically searching for a doctor. “Dr. Meade, Melanie having a baby, you’ve got to come with me!” Unlike the GOP, the good doctor had the humanity to come to the aid of the less fortunate.

  24. Thx, daveastor. It’s a marvel that Congressman Labrador (R-Idaho) can offer up an absurd comment like this with a straight face, and even with a bit of defiance thrown in. Either he’s remarkably stupid — or he’s mouthing off in exchange for re-eelection campaign money from people who think Americans are remarkably stupid, and who can profit from American stupidity.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” – Voltaire.

  25. You’re welcome, Spiro! I wonder if Labrador will give up HIS access to health care to test his absurd “theory”? Of course he won’t!

    And that’s an all-time quote by Voltaire. (His “Candide” novel is amazing.)

  26. If Trumpcare is better than Obamacare, then why did the Republican House members opt themselves out of it? (even after promising they wouldn’t).

    I agree with daveastor.

  27. Well stated, silverleaf. it appears the good doctor in ‘Gone With the Wind’ had more in common with Jesus than Jared.

  28. If you like your dr. you can keep your doctor period. If you like your plan you can keep your plan period. We’ll know what’s in if after we pass it. Ha Ha Ha.

  29. Today was just another instance of why Frelinghuysen is the least of my concerns.
    Nixon opened up China and Trump is cashing in. God, to be a Republican today has to really suck!

  30. Phew!! I thought I might be accused of generalizing all Republicans. Obviously not. The collective “we” shares the same value system as our President. I’ll keep that in mind next time I’m in a conversation with a Republican.

  31. @Frank Rubacky–you do realize that impeachment starts in the House, right? And that Congressman Frelinghuysen will have a vote.

  32. The Republicans control all 3 branches. Half the country still supports him. He’s a war-time president. The Democratic Party is in disarray. Impeachment? What I realize is he is much more likely to get re-elected.

  33. So @Frank Rubacky–your suggestion is to give up? That’s really a shame. I see you fighting on Baristanet and expected more from you.

    I prefer to fight for my country. Even when it is hard. Especially when it is hard.

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