The Strange Origins of the GOP Ideology That Rejects Caring for the Poor
The ongoing Capitol Hill brawl over health care and budget cuts is getting Biblical.
In recent months, GOP lawmakers have taken to spouting Christian scripture to defend conservative fiscal policy and their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The first example came from Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), who argued in early March that Jesus would support his criticism of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, as aspect of health care reform that extended insurance coverage to additional low-income Americans.
“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” Marshall told Stat News, quoting the Bible. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”
He added that “morally, spiritually, socially,” some poor and homeless people “just don’t want health care.”
Marshall’s comments triggered a flurry of criticism from several sources, including more progressive faith writers who chided him for rebuking the traditional Christian instruction to help the poor regardless of their personal choices. The newly elected congressman eventually walked back his remarks a few days later.
“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.”