1,000 signatures reached
To: Mr. President, Mr. McConnell and Mr. Ryan:
Health Care for All: Let’s Fix This
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker and Mr. Majority Leader:
We write to appeal to your conscience, to appeal to your leadership, and to appeal to your faith.
You took vows to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, which means you MUST promote the general welfare of the people of this nation. Your Christian faith calls you to care for the "least of these." You MUST feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, and take care of the sick because what you do to the least, you do to Jesus himself. (Matthew 25.31-40)
We write urging you not to allow partisan politics to destroy the lives of 32 million people, who will stand to lose their health care. Health care is not an entitlement; it is a human right. Specifically, we ask you to:
- Vote "No" to Replace and Repeal the Affordable Care Act; strengthen it.
- Remove the deep cuts to Medicaid that are in the current House Budget.
Why is this important?
We are people of many faiths and spiritual practices. We are clergy, teachers, lawyers, health professionals, workers, students, artists and activists. We are every race, gender, age and ability, from every corner of the country, united in a moral movement to protect 32 million of our brothers and sisters who will lose health care if this assault on the Affordable Care Act continues unchecked.
Our many sacred scriptures urge us to care for the vulnerable, to feed and clothe the poor, to liberate those who are captive, and to heal the sick. The prophet Isaiah said it this way:
If you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday…
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in. (Isaiah 58:10)
Although white people made up the biggest group of newly insured Americans under the ACA, with 9 million new people gaining coverage, people of color also benefited dramatically from provisions in the ACA, including an expansion of Medicaid that provided health care subsidies for many low-income people. The ACA began the long work of shrinking the racial health coverage gap.
Three million African Americans and 4 million Latinos — the minority group most likely to lack health insurance — accessed coverage through the ACA. Other marginalized groups, such as LGBTQ people, did as well. It allowed same-sex families to apply for joint coverage. It also removed lifetime caps on care for chronic conditions, such as HIV. Our faith compels us to witness for all on the margins.
We know the ACA is not perfect. In considerable measure, this is because over twenty states sabotaged the ACA by refusing to expand Medicaid. Its primary shortcoming is that it needs to be transformed into a single payer system with universal healthcare for all.
Still, taking health care away from millions who currently have it can’t be the answer. For every million people without access to health care, five thousand people will die needlessly — not because God called them home, but because those entrusted by God with the responsibility of governance failed to defend the widow, the orphan and the poor, and instead succumbed to the temptations of greed.
As people of faith, we invite you into our moral movement. We pray your conscience will give you ears to hear the voices of the vulnerable, and courage to do what is right and just for the people you serve.
Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
In partnership with:
Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson
Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Sensei
Lisa Sharon Harper
Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel
Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock
Rev. Robin Tanner
Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sr. Simone Campbell
Rabbi Stephanie Kolin
Bishop William Barber II
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III