The following post, written by The Rev. Robert A. Franek, is a part of Politicus Policy Discussion, in which writers draw connections between real lives and public policy.
After slick amendments and unscored changes by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to their health care law and without input or debate from stakeholders in the medical community and voters in their districts, House Republicans again showed their true colors by voting to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
Eager to give their leader Donald Trump a “win” on passing any significant legislation these Republican Representatives voted not only for an economically disastrous bill but one that is so morally repugnant as to be evil.
It seems that some of them might recognize this to some small degree as they are unwilling to explain and defend their vote. And those Republican Representatives, who voted in favor of this evil monstrosity of a bill, who have faced media cameras and questions don’t offer a defense but rather their hopes that the Senate will fix this legislation.
There are so many heinous aspects to this legislation it is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps that is why the Senate is not even going to touch this bill, but rather craft their own version. However, don’t expect the Senate health care bill to be much of an improvement since it is being crafted by Republican men who share many of the same values as their colleagues in the House. These values decisively show that death for tens of millions due to losing or not being able to afford health insurance is an acceptable cost for giving a tax cut to the wealthy and corporate persons among us, a tax cut which is neither necessary nor economically advantageous.
Remember that is what the American Health Care Act finally is: a tax cut disguised in health care reform. Notwithstanding the reality that these reforms do not promote health or care in any substantive fashion other than to say don’t get sick or have a preexisting condition which now not only includes diseases but assault and rape. Sarah Jones expounded on this reality noting: Trumpcare rewards men who sexually and physically attack their victims, and that is not a bug. It’s a feature.
It is hard to fathom how a bill that will lead to the death of tens of millions of people and sides with criminal offenders in matters of assault and rape is not only passed by the House in the United States of America in 2017, but also celebrated with a beer party.
Republicans who voted in favor of this bill and those who supported it in any way not only lost any remaining moral grounding they may have had but decidedly endorsed a piece of legislation that forsakes the fundamental values of this country that ensure the worth, dignity, and humanity of every person.
Moreover, for all the claims many Republicans make for having Christian values, this health care law exemplifies the opposite of every Christian teaching starting with love your neighbor as yourself.
This is not surprising when one considers that this legislation is rooted in the lie known as the prosperity gospel, which may help explain its appeal among those it is destined to hurt the most. It is this faulty and dangerous philosophy that needs to be overcome as much as the very real and reprehensible policies within the American Health Care Act itself.
Assault and rape are not preexisting conditions for which survivors should be denied health care coverage. Sending some 24 million people to a premature death including children by taking away their health insurance is not the way to fix our health care system. These morally revolting realities are the definition of evil and reveal the true values of the Republicans in Congress: greed, power, and control. All of these are a far cry from the unalienable rights of every person: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
When Congressional Republicans lack the moral courage to face their constituents in town hall meetings, denounce exacerbating inequality, and uphold the office to which they have been elected it is time to send them home. When they vote for policies that are patently evil, it is time to rise up and expose their indefensible actions and make sure no one ever forgets.