Christians Call out Paul Ryan, GOP Health Care Plan

By Betsy Shirley 3-15-2017
Heidi Besen /

Almost immediately after House Republicans unveiled the health care plan they hope will replace the Affordable Care Act, a number of Bible-quoting, justice-loving Christians began pointing out that the GOP's proposed replacement doesn't quite live up to Jesus's command to "heal the sick."

"He and I must have read different Scripture," said Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) Kennedy of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a major proponent of the GOP plan. 

"The one that I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful, but by how we care for the least among us."

Public theologian Diana Butler Bass tweeted a reminder that Jesus spent many of his earthly days healing lepers and restoring sight to the blind — for free.

Princeton Theological Seminary associate professor Yolanda Pierce and Moral Mondays leader William Barber, pointed out that the GOP's proposed plan would affect those most in need. 

Others point out that the Bible is pretty emphatic about how Christians are to treat the most vulnerable.

On March 13, a report issued by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office revealed that an estimated 24 million people would lose their health care by 2026 — 14 million within the first year. Ryan celebrated the CBO report, pointing to the report's estimate that the plan would reduce the deficit by $337 billion by 2026. The report ignited a new wave of ire from the Twitter faithful.

Betsy Shirley (@betsyshirley) is Associate Editor at Sojourners.

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