Category Archives: politics

Healthcare and the Gospel

A lot has already been said about the Republicans’ so-called “replacement” of the Affordable Care Act, and a lot more will be said in the coming days and weeks.  While I have long believed that we made an error by not pushing harder for Medicare-For-All or Single-Payer insurance, the ACA achieved a lot of good, despite its flaws.  Whatever your political affiliation, you should stand up for preserving and improving the ACA or demand a Medicare-For-All replacement.  The GOP plan is wicked.  Seriously.  It is a sin.

Here are a few must-read and must-view resources on the issue.

  • The Reverend Matthew Fox’s open letter to Paul Ryan should be required reading for all politicians who claim to follow the Gospel on the one hand and do the bidding of the uber wealthy on the other.  Here’s a taste:
    • Meanwhile, until you and your party pay attention at last to these basic issues, I as a Christian priest and theologian can only conclude that you are not at all a Catholic or a Christian but just one more hypocrite flaunting your bogus religion on your sleeve to garner more votes and stay in a cushy job while you sell your soul to the Koch brothers and other Wall Street misers.  People who don’t have a clue about the “weightier matters of the Law—justice, compassion, good faith!” (Mt. 23:23) that Jesus preached, and who could not care less.

  • Robert David Sullivan of America magazine explores how the AHCA (the GOP plan) fails to meet the basic standards of Catholic social teaching, and it also provides some salient statistics that everyone should know:
    • Just as disturbing as the details of the plan is the rhetoric used to justify cutting health care for the most needy. Mr. Ryan calls his bill “an act of mercy,” even though the most comfortable will benefit the most, in the form of both tax cuts and tax credits. He seems scandalized by the notion that “The people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick,” though that is not only the whole point of insurance but also a bedrock of a compassionate society. One congressman, arguing for the elimination of requirements that all health insurance cover certain treatment, complains about having to help pay for prenatal care—a far cry from a truly pro-life position.

  • John Oliver brilliantly skewered the AHCA last Sunday. This is a must-watch.  It’s entertaining, but it provides a tremendous amount of information compared to most news coverage.  John is a national treasure. For real.
  • Reuters reports that major medical associations are rejecting the AHCA.
    • The AMA, which supported Obamacare, said the replacement of income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits to help people buy insurance would make coverage more expensive, if not out of reach, for poor and sick Americans.

  • Even people who hated the ACA (“Obamacare”) hate this bill and say it “won’t work.”
    • The only plausible goal this bill achieves is letting Republicans say they repealed and replaced Obamacare. If that’s the real motivation, then Republicans have mistaken their slogan for the goals their slogan was meant to serve. Republicans wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare because, in theory, they had something better — something people would like more, and that would achieve their goals of cutting costs and creating a real market in health insurance.

      But that’s not what they have here.

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