May 6, 2017

GMP Responds to House Passage of New Health Care Bill

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill known as the "American Health Care Act." In response, Dr. Sharon Watkins said the following: "We are saddened that our elected officials played politics with and bargained away the lives of the 24 million Americans who will lose health care coverage under the American Health Care Act. Hebrew and Christian Scriptures urge us to "bear one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2) and "rob not the poor" (Proverbs 22:22). Jesus, whom we follow, made health and healing a high priority in his ministry. We therefore join with other people of faith from all traditions to pray that, unlike the House, the Senate will meet its moral responsibility to defend and expand affordable, quality health care for all."

Faithful and Continued Advocacy: The Answer to Disappointment

Reflections by Rev. Cynthia Abrams of the Health Care Working Group of the Washington Interreligious Staff Community (slightly edited version).

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, the "American Health Care Act," which, of it becomes law, will have devastating effects on the American health care system.

It wasn't easy for them to pass the bill, however. They thought they'd have no problem kicking people off their health insurance. But, faith-based advocacy changed the equation. YOU changed the equation!

Your emails and phone calls; your conversations during coffee hour and presence at town halls; your prayers and protests were not in vain.

And this is not over!

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. I hope we can count on your continued efforts to prevent this terrible bill from becoming law. Just as your representative needed to hear from you, your senator will need to know where you stand.

They'll need to know you're watching.
Your senators will need to know that you won't stand by as they allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
That "high-risk pools" were a failure before and they will be again.
That Medicaid is a sacred covenant we've made to protect poor, working class, and elderly people, and a promise we intend to keep.
That insurance that doesn't include essential health coverage victimizes people by denying benefits when they are needed the most.
That an illness should not mean financial ruin and bankruptcy, which it surely would without annual and lifetime caps.
That repealing the modest Medicare tax means putting more money in the pockets of the wealthy while taking money away from seniors.
That allowing insurance companies more leverage in age-related rates will leave those between 50-64 years old paying significantly more out-of-pocket.

Yes. Your senators will need to know that you're not going to stand by and watch as they make people's lives worse.

Please make three quick calls right now.

First, click here to find out how your representative voted. If they voted against the bill, call to thank them for their vote. If they voted for the bill, call to express your disappointment.

Then, make two calls to your two senators. Tell them that you live in their state and you would like them to vote no on this bill. Tell them what is at stake with this legislation for you and your community.

The number for the U.S. Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121. You can use that number to connect with all three of your members of Congress.

Together, we have the power to stop this. Please join in.

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