Republicans are again trying to strip insurance from tens of millions of people, and this time they might get the votes they need to pass the bill in the House. If you have a Republican representative, it’s a good time to call.
Representative Tom Rooney, Republican of Florida, said he was “leaning yes” on the repeal bill, but agonizing over how to explain his vote to constituents.
“I have a lot of people who call my office on a daily basis who are extremely angry,” he said. “It’s not just because I’m a Republican, but because they are sincerely scared.”
Many people with pre-existing conditions fear that they may lose coverage and “are going to die because of a vote we might be taking,” Mr. Rooney said.
Their fears are entirely justified. It’s why everyone from the AARP to the American Medical Association opposes the bill.
Health care is complicated. Obamacare is flawed. Improving the health care system is hard. But knowing where to stand on the Republican replacement bill is not difficult. If the bill became law, wealthy and healthy people would be better off, while poor and sick people would be worse off.
These facts alone make it impossible for Christians to support the bill. Christians are not willing to sacrifice the lives of human beings in pursuit of a utopian vision of the ideal society. The House Freedom Caucus apparently is willing to do so. Christians do not support this kind of cruelty under any circumstances. Call your Republican member of Congress!
If you’re a Christian who votes Republican, your voice is desperately needed now. Call your Republican member of congress and tell them you oppose the GOP health care bill because it fails to provide for the poor and the sick. If you’re a Christian, these principles are more important to you than limited government.
The Republicans are trying to pass a health care bill that oppresses the poor and sick so that rich people can have more money. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 24 million people would lose health insurance coverage. The best estimates we have indicate that this would cause thousands of preventable deaths every year.
I’ve heard from Trump-supporting Christians who have been offended by my words during and after the election. They didn’t want to be lumped in with the people supporting hatred, racism, and oppression. This is an opportunity for those Christians to demonstrate their sincerity. Do they oppose this cruel legislation? Or do they put party politics above human decency?
Sincerity, good intentions, or ignorance do not absolve these Christians from responsibility. If they think this bill falls under the rubric of “complicated partisan politics” and so they can’t speak against it, they’re supporting oppression. Even if they sincerely believe the lies of the Republican donor class, they’re still supporting oppression. No one is making them tune in to the make-believe world of talk radio and Foxnews. No one is making them believe the self-serving lies wealthy people tell about the economy. No one is making them ignore evidence and sit in an echo chamber. These are the choices they make.
Many of them will respond, “But it’s not the government’s job to provide health care.” If that’s their belief, they have a responsibility to explain why people must die for the sake of their abstract principles.
In sum, if Republican-voting Christians can’t rouse themselves to oppose this inhumane legislation, they ought to step up and have the courage of their convictions. If you want to oppress people, own it and do it proudly.
As the Republican Congress proposes legislation to oppress the poor and afflict the sick, your voice is needed. Do not stay on the sidelines. One small thing you can do is call your representatives. But how do you move from intending to do that to actually doing it? And not just doing it once in a fit of rage, but doing it consistently? Save their numbers in your phone. Are you with me? Here’s what you do:
On their website there will be a list of their office locations and phone numbers. It may be under a “Contact” tab or “Office Locations” or something like that.
Once you’ve found the list, save the phone number for their D.C. office and their local office in your area.
Now, when you read the news or when the thought occurs to you, you can call your representatives very easily. Call them in D.C. and at their local offices. You’ll often get to talk to real live staffers. Make their jobs hard.
If someone knows an easier way to find contact information please let me know! But this is pretty easy.
Do not assume that your voice doesn’t matter. The situation is fluid and there is a group of Republican senators that is very nervous about repealing Obamacare without having a real replacement ready. Now is the time to lean on those senators, and on all of our representatives. You may want to save the phone numbers of key congressional leaders in addition to your own representatives.
What should your message to them be? Here in Pennsylvania, I have one Republican senator, so he is the key leverage point. I am not asking Senator Toomey to invest in Obamacare as such. I understand the politics of this. As a Republican, he will feel required to vote for at least a symbolic repeal of the law. That’s ok. My message to him is three-fold:
My family and many others in our community depend on Obamacare. For some, this is a matter of life and death.
Repealing the law without replacing it is unacceptable.
Any replacement must absolutely prioritize the sick and the poor.
Let’s stand together and care for each other, especially when our leaders won’t.