Conservative congressman opposes medicare expansion because Jesus teaches that poor people don’t really want health care.
Rep. Roger Marshall, (R-KS) uses Jesus to justify his opposition to Obamacare by explaining that poor people will reject health care, just like Jesus said.
In a recent interview with STAT News, the conservative Christian lawmaker explained why he believes some poor people just don’t want health care:
Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’ There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.
Just, like, homeless people … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care. The Medicaid population, which is [on] a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising. And I’m not judging, I’m just saying socially that’s where they are. So there’s a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought [into] the ER.
Congressman Marshall is wrong. Think Progress reports a Harvard School of Public Health study published last summer shows that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion resulted in improved health for low-income adults — and fewer ER visits. A summary of the study states:
Two years after Medicaid coverage was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in their states, low-income adults in Kentucky and Arkansas received more primary and preventive care, made fewer emergency departments visits, and reported higher quality care and improved health compared with low-income adults in Texas, which did not expand Medicaid, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The findings provide new evidence for states that are debating whether to expand or how to expand coverage to low-income adults.
While I am not a theologian, I feel confident in asserting that Jesus’ message about the poor is not most accurately summarized as “Let them suffer, they’re animals anyway.”
Bottom line: Congressman Marshall is a sick and twisted individual. Even an atheist can see that using Jesus to justify denying healthcare to poor people is not only wrong, but perverse.