Ex-Obama official mulls run against Republican who negotiated healthcare changes

A former Obama administration counterterrorism adviser is exploring a bid against Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), who helped negotiate the new GOP ObamaCare repeal-and-replace legislation.

Andrew Kim, a veteran and Rhodes Scholar who served as the National Security Council’s Iraq director during former President Obama’s administration, announced he was looking at the race on a newly created Twitter account.

His tweet links to a page crowd-funding his bid. 

On the page, Kim links MacArthur to President Trump and the ObamaCare replacement legislation.

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“Representative Tom MacArthur has become Trump’s biggest supporter in New Jersey and is the main author and lead negotiator for TrumpCare 2.0 that jeopardizes care for people with pre-existing conditions while blatantly protecting the health care plans of Congress from these changes,” Kim wrote. 


“I want to fight alongside the citizens of New Jersey to demand a better government focused on improving the lives of the people.”

House ratings experts all say the district is a safe Republican seat — and Trump won the district in November. But former Obama won the district in the two previous presidential elections. 

As of Thursday afternoon, Kim’s crowd-funding page has more than $21,000 pledged for his campaign, about half of the $50,000 goal that he personally set. His pledges are set up through the website CrowdPAC, which will only charge donors if Kim decides to run. 

MacArthur has drawn the ire of Democrats and centrist Republicans for his role in the healthcare negotiations, with accusations that his compromise pushes the bill further to the right. 

The main change negotiated by MacArthur would allow states to apply for waivers that would allow insurers to forgo certain requirements under ObamaCare. This would reduce premium costs, but could also lead to lower coverage. Critics say it would almost certainly leave people with pre-existing conditions either without insurance or having to pay much more to get it. 

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