The following post is adapted from the Rev. Dr. Micki Pulleyking’s reflections shared at Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri’s “Standing with Our Neighbors” event.
It is an honor to be here with others who care about moral leadership; those who desire to “act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God”, as the prophet Micah implores. Jesus proclaimed “good news to the poor” and “liberty” to the oppressed; Jesus gave “healing”–free health care. Think about it, almost all of Jesus’ miracles are related to medical needs–the blind man, the hemorrhaging woman, the sick girl, the man who could not walk: Jesus treats each one with dignity (no matter how poor), and he heals them, without a word about money; without a word about political agendas. May we do all we can to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
There are many compassionate humans in our state who respond to suffering; many good people traveled to Texas and to Florida after the recent hurricanes. We grieve suffering caused by that which we cannot control: floods and other acts of nature. But how much more suffering is caused by human choices? This is suffering we can control.
The book of Amos was written around 750 BCE. Yet, could not this have been written last night? Listen to the words of Amos 6: “Alas for those who lounge on their couches, and eat beef; sing idle songs; drink wine and anoint themselves with fine perfumes…BUT are NOT grieved over the suffering of others…”
Affordable health care is not about being a Democrat or a Republican–it’s about grieving over the suffering of others and desiring to be good humans. Humans need affordable health care.
Let us urge lawmakers to reject the Graham-Cassidy bill which will take away health care from millions of Americans. Oppose any budget that guts life-saving Medicaid for 74 million working families, privatizes Medicaid for seniors, or strips state budgets of critical funding–in order to pay for billions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations!
Medicaid provides coverage to 30 million children. It pays for half the births in the United States, 75% of all family planning services, 64% of nursing home care, and 30% of all care for people with disabilities. Nearly 2 million veterans get health care through Medicaid. And…Medicaid also costs far less per beneficiary than private health insurance. And…the cost for Medicaid have been rising more slowly than private insurance.
The Republican budget cuts nearly $2 trillion from health care, especially Medicaid. I think that’s immoral–not moral leadership.
Let us stand for leadership committed to a politics of compassion. Call, email and text your senators and representatives and those whose votes can keep this disaster from happening. Ask them to choose dignity, to choose to diminish suffering, in those places where the moral choice is ours.