“Brutal” is the word of the night Wednesday for reporters covering a town hall meeting being hosted by New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur.

Anticipation for the town hall had been growing for days, though some wondered if MacArthur would follow through.

MacArthur is a rich target for critics of the American Health Care Act, as he authored the amendment that would allow states to obtain waivers to some requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Many interpret that to mean the amendment does not cover pre-existing conditions, despite language explicitly stating that “nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting insurers to limit access to health coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.” That didn’t stop protesters from holding a “die-in” outside, dressing up as the grim reaper, or waving Halloween skeletons around.

Dang, who drew the short straw and had to play the guy who died of an untreated STD?

So, if that was the protest outside beforehand, how brutal was the town hall? MacArthur attempted to share his own experience of taking his 11-year-old daughter off of life support but was shouted down and shamed by constituents. Maybe he should write a book about it and spare those not interested.

MacArthur had told a local TV station he’d hoped the town hall would be calm and civil.

It wasn’t.

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Update:

Here’s a snippet of video to give a better sense of the atmosphere inside the town hall, which was still going after 3 and a half hours.

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