The Common Good

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act, Victory For Poor and Vulnerable

Source: Sojourners
Date: June 28, 2012



June 28, 2012


Carrie Adams: (202)745-4654;



Washington, DC – June 28, 2012

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, President and CEO of Sojourners, Rev. Jim Wallis, has released the following statement regarding the decision, its implications for our country, the common good, and religious communities:

Today, in a long and complicated ruling, the Affordable Care Act was upheld. This is an important victory for millions of uninsured people in our country and ultimately a triumph of the common good. Children, young adults, and families will have access to basic health care, adding security and stability to their lives. While I believe the decision is reason to celebrate, it doesn’t mean that this legislation is somehow the flawless will of God; it is an important step in expanding health care coverage and reducing long term costs, but it still is not perfect and more work is yet to be done.


Many people of faith and Christian organizations were involved in advocating for expanded insurance coverage, specifically for low-income and vulnerable people. And that’s what we can never forget: our involvement in the world of politics is always based in and motivated by the way that it affects the lives of real people, and especially poor people.


This past week, I’ve watched the endless political pre-coverage of the Supreme Court decision, and I was struck first by the poor quality of the questions being asked. Now that the decision has been made, the pontification is just as bad. We need to be focused on those who are left out and left behind, not who is up or down in politics and the polls.


The pundits ask: how will this affect the election? Who’s the political winner, who’s the loser? Republicans or Democrats; Obama or Romney? Is the Supreme Court too politicized or not enough? Who is protecting and who is destroying the reputation and dignity of the court? These are interesting political questions but not the fundamental questions for Christians to ask.


Our bottom line is different. We don’t start with politics, but rather with how these decisions affect real people.  Here are our questions: how will the results of the decision today affect the people who still don’t have adequate and reasonably priced health care? What about the people still not covered under the Affordable Care Act? Will there still be those who are too poor to be healthy in America? How do we move from a mindset that views health care as merely a commodity and not a human right? These are the questions for Christians, not who wins and who loses the political debate.

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Sojourners' mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit, and

Jim Wallis is the president and CEO of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the United States focused on the biblical call to social justice. Wallis is also author of the New York Times bestsellers God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It and The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World, Reviving Faith & Politics. His latest book is Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.