Andy Kim focuses first 100 days on transparency, outreach and compromise
U.S. Rep. Andy Kim was nearing the end of his third town hall since taking his oath as a member of Congress when he got hit with the two questions that have surfaced repeatedly during his regular open forums with constituents.
Why wasn’t he signing on as a co-sponsor of “Medicare-for-all” and “Green New Deal” legislation like many of his Democratic colleagues?
“I know you joined with a Republican on legislation affecting the exchanges, but my concern is that Medicare-for-all, universal single-payer, we have to drive toward that. There’s no other solution for us really because the costs are skyrocketing,” said a resident at the town hall in Cinnaminson.
Kim has fielded this question several times, both during his successful congressional campaign and his first four months in Congress, and his response has generally been the same: he supports the goal of universal health care coverage but believes there are multiple paths that need to be thoughtfully considered and not pushed through like the Republican effort to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act.
“What we’re moving towards is trying to make sure everyone in this country, rich or poor, has health care. That’s the goal that we’re reaching for,” Kim said. “Now when we’re talking about what are the different pathways to get there, that’s something we need to make sure we’re very thoughtful about and going through and I have talked about how we need to have a real process for.”
“Thoughtful” and “process” are two words you likely hear a lot of around Kim. The former U.S. diplomat chooses his words carefully, along with his policy.
And while the New Jersey Democrat was elected on the same Blue Wave that swept fellow freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, into the U.S. House, he’s chosen to take a different path in Washington, avoiding the national media and controversy that has made both fellow freshman household names.