Ernst Thinks Churches Should Provide Health Care

Joni Earnst, the Tea Party-aligned Republican Senate candidate from Iowa, doesn’t understand why anyone would need health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Why can’t they just go to the churches and get antibiotics, vaccines or open heart surgery?

In audio obtained by Iowa Public Radio, Senate hopeful Joni Ernst told a group of reporters that the reason Republicans oppose Obamacare is because the job of caring for the poor is simply not the purview of government. The poor, she said, should rely on churches and charitable organizations for help.

“We’re looking at Obamacare right now,” Ernst said. “Once we start with those benefits in January, how are we going to get people off of those? It’s exponentially harder to remove people once they’ve already been on those programs.”

“We have lost a reliance on not only our own families, but so much of what our churches and private organizations used to do,” she went on. “They used to have wonderful food pantries. They used to provide clothing for those that really needed it, but we have gotten away from that. Now we’re at a point where the government will just give away anything. We have to stop that.”

Maybe she thinks that if sick people go to a church instead of a doctor, they can be faith-healed instead of having their medical conditions treated. And people say the Republicans don’t have a viable alternative on health care…

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Armored Scrum Object

    Yes, it’s so important that we go back to giving aid to the people who really need it. Nowadays, the government just gives stuff away to those other people. You know, the lazy ones.

  • John Pieret

    Once we start with those benefits in January, how are we going to get people off of those?

    What? Private insurance benefits? Why does she hate capitalism?

  • raven

    oppose Obamacare is because the job of caring for the poor is simply not the purview of government. The poor, she said, should rely on churches and charitable organizations for help.

    What a profoundly stupid and ignorant likely future senator from Iowa. We’ve found the next Michele Bachmann!!! (Bachmann is originally from Iowa. There seems to be a problem here somewhere.)

    1. If the churches were providing for the US poor, most of them would be dead by now.

    They don’t have the money, resources, or expertise. The churches themselves are in financial trouble and their loot intake has been dropping for years.

    2. In fact, the churches are…Moochers!!! Since they are desperate for money, they’ve been raiding the taxpayers and federal treasury any way they can.

    The faith based initiatives, otherwise known as free money for churches to skim off, is something like $2 billion a year. There is virtually no accounting or oversight for this money. I’m sure some of it goes for the usual; luxury goods, fine wines and drugs, and cute boys and girls.

  • birgerjohansson

    Isn’t the True King supposed to be able to heal by the laying of hands? Or is that healthcare too governmentish?

    FYI, before government-mandated health care, we had Theoderic of York, medieval barber!

  • Chiroptera

    Heh. I remember Theodoric of York, medievel barber.

    …that the reason Republicans oppose Obamacare is because the job of caring for the poor is simply not the purview of government.

    Well, I would put it that ensuring that everyone has access to health care is in the purview of government.

    Now I suppose that we can agree to disagree. Which means that my side will explain our position, hold elections, and hope that we’ve convinced the electorate of our position. Meahwhile, their side can throw tantrums and do everything in their power to subvert democracy.

  • tbp1

    It she wins the Senate seat, any bets about whether or not she turns down the government provided insurance and goes to her church when she, or a family member, gets sick?

  • http://denkeensechtna.blogspot.com Deen

    Because it so much better to have people be dependent on the churches than the government. How else are the churches going to control the people? Besides, the government is accountable to the voters, the churches are accountable to nobody. Better in every way!

  • raven

    Wikipedia:

    For fiscal year 2005, more than $2.2 billion in competitive social service grants were awarded to faith-based organizations. Between fiscal years 2003 and 2005, the total dollar amount of all grants awarded to FBOs increased by 21 percent (GAO 2006:43[3])

    and

    The second head of the department, Jim Towey, in a session of “Ask the Whitehouse” dated November 26, 2003, stated in regard to a question about pagan faith-based organizations:

    “I haven’t run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor!

    There are many problems with the $2 billion so called Faith Based pork fund. No oversight, no accounting.

    They also discriminate based on sect and religion. And they are blatant about it. It’s Hitchen’s Rule again. Religion poisons everything!!!

  • raven

    Report: Church giving reaches Depression-era record lows …

    www. religionnews. com/2013/…/report-church-giving-reaches-depressio…

    Oct 24, 2013 – “They’re not there as much, and consequently they’re not giving as much. … Churches need to embrace the idea that all money is God’s, not just a … As for giving money, the folks would argue that God works through us and the Church. … When a church pays leaders it will consume 75-85% of its collection.

    FWIW, the US churches have been in financial trouble for years.

    Declining membership and a struggling economy.

    They don’t have the money to do much more than homeostasis, keeping themselves afloat. Of the ca. $100 billion they collect, 88% is used internally, some kicked upstairs, some for missionaries to convert…other xians. The amount spent on social services is very small, probably mid single digits on a percentage basis.

    Even the National Council of Churches almost went bankrupt. They had to sell their building and these days, they don’t do much and are all but invisible.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Look, charity was working just fine before Big Government stuck its nose in and started helping people.

  • D. C. Sessions

    No, seriously. It makes sense. They’re already bleeding people.

  • lldayo

    So, if I let Jesus into my heart will he perform a quadruple-bypass for free? I could check that off as a tax break since it would technically be a house renovation!

  • iangould

    To play contrarian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_sharing_ministry

    The Church-based health insurance schemes actually seem to work pretty well as one alternative to government-run or private for-profit schemes within a mixed system.

    I’d be more concerned with the fact that if Republicans don’t believe its the government’s role to help the poor, they presumably want to abolish unemployment insurance, Social Security and SNAP.

  • colnago80

    Re iangould @ #13

    Unfortunately, here in the US, many hospitals have been taken over by the Raping Children Church which not only declines to perform abortions but also declines to disseminate birth control information. Many of these hospitals are the only option in small communities. Very bad idea in this country.

  • Michael Heath

    Because this argument is broader, it’s actually more idiotic than the Senator wannabe from NV’s argument back in 2010. She argued we not only don’t need Obamacare, but that we don’t even need cash but could instead barter for services. E.g., we could trade chickens for healthcare.

  • arakasi

    It is kind of refreshing to find a Republican candidate who acknowledges that her party’s policies are so unpopular that the only way they can be implemented is if the people have no other alternatives.

  • http://wordsgood4598.wordpress.com/author/wordsgood4598/ wordsgood

    Yeah, ’cause faith based health care has worked so well in the past…

  • busterggi

    Medical care was never a problem when the churches healed everyone by faith alone. That’s why there was no disease before FDR’s presidency.

  • eric

    Republicans oppose Obamacare is because the job of caring for the poor is simply not the purview of government.

    IOW, Republicans want to disregard Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to levy taxes in order to provide for the general welfare of the state.

    “They [churches and private organizations] used to have wonderful food pantries. They used to provide clothing for those that really needed it, but we have gotten away from that.

    They can still do that, of course. If they want. But then all of those conserative churches who used to help the poor are now preaching the prosperity gospel, aren’t they? Where being poor is not seen as a state that requires help and charity, but is seen instead as an indication that one is not right with God.

    It also sounds a bit like she’s saying that in TeapartyWorld, it’s a horrible horrible thing when the relative number of truly needy people per capita goes down to such an extent that churches begin closing their soup kitchens.