FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Mershon
July 25, 2017
STATEMENT BY JIM WALLIS ON HEALTH CARE
Jim Wallis, President and Founder of Sojourners, released the following statement today on the upcoming Senate vote on the Motion to Proceed to health care legislation:
“Jesus tells us that how we treat the most vulnerable in society, including the poor and the sick, is how we treat him. How we treat Christ himself.
“The Bible further teaches that it is not only individuals, but also nations, who will be judged based on how they treat the poor and vulnerable. The United States Senate will take a critical vote today on whether or not to move forward on a bill that would dramatically restructure 1/6 of the US economy, and most senators in both parties are currently in the dark about the specifics of the final bill they will be asked to vote on.
“What is clear, however, is that every plan put forward by the Republican leadership so far in the House and Senate will cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid—a program that provides access to health care and other critical services to poor people, disabled people, children, and elderly people in nursing homes. As a result, the CBO estimates that as many as 15 million fewer people will be enrolled in Medicaid in 2026 compared to current law. What every GOP leadership plan also does is to use these Medicaid cuts to finance hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to large insurance companies, medical device corporations, and wealthy individuals.
“There is no series of policy tweaks or special funding for particular Senators’ states that can fix the essential moral depravity of this plan. Republicans and Democrats should work together in a bipartisan fashion through regular order by holding hearings, consulting with stakeholders and experts, and listening to the American people to fix the problems with the ACA’s individual marketplaces without making cuts to Medicaid or depriving tens of millions of Americans of health insurance. Therefore, we urge all Senators to Vote NO on today’s Motion to Proceed (MTP), and we urge our readers and supporters to call on their Senators to do likewise.
“There are different ways for a nation to organize and manage its health care system. But the moral test and the biblical test of any system is how it treats the poorest and most vulnerable---how a health care system treats those who are sick or most vulnerable in their health. And for those Senators who will be voting today and call themselves Christian, their personal religious question before their vote should be: how any system they vote for will treat Christ himself, who says it was me who was sick. “As you have done to the least of these you have done to me.”