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July 29, 2017

From Rev. Dr. Laird Thomason, Minister of Health and Wellness at the Disciples Center for Public Witness:

Early Friday morning, Senator John McCain joined with Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, resisted intense pressure from their party and from the White House, and voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following this dramatic 2 am vote that saved health care and Medicaid for millions, a Methodist colleague and long-time health care advocate, Cynthia Abrams, wrote: “I like to think that Ted Kennedy had a little talk with his friend John McCain last night.”

If so, that certainly was not the only voice that was raised over the last months. Concerned people of faith met tirelessly to pray, plan, march, write, make strategic visits to elected officials, get arrested, organize home district meetings across the United States and across denominational and faith lines, and to gather not only in their communities, but also on the grounds and in the halls of Congress, for prophetic witness and faithful engagement. THANK YOU ALL!

Now, instead of merely “gloating” over our victory, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted while witnessing the defeat of his efforts to repeal the ACA, we must combine our well-deserved celebrations with renewed commitment to work even harder for to provide affordable, quality health care for everyone. We must intensify our efforts to encourage our elected officials to find ways to work together to fix the real problems within the ACA.

Prayers and statements of thanksgiving are certainly in order, but so, too, is faithfulness to the Biblically inspired mandates of work, study, prayer, activism, and passionate advocacy on behalf of all God’s children. So, even as we rightly pause to thank God for the fact that justice prevailed in the Senate vote, let good thinking, strategic action, and hard work continue!

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