SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERS MAKE A CHRISTMAS APPEAL TO SENATOR ALEXANDER AND SENATOR CORKER:

“This Christmas commit to upholding Christian values, Oppose Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Without a Replacement, or Millions Will Lose Health Care”

Tennessee — Today at 10am CT / 11am ET, faith leaders across Tennessee held a press call as the Southern Christian Coalition and discussed the Christmas message they are delivering to Senator Alexander and Senator Corker, urging them to “uphold Christian values by opposing repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a plan for replacement because of the health and moral consequences of millions of Americans losing health care.” Rev. Sherry Cothran (download audio clip), Pastor, St. John’s West UMC in Nashville added:

“I’m joining with our faith leaders, praying for our elected officials and President-elect Trump to listen to the faith community and work together to make the ACA better, not hurt our communities by repealing it without a plan.   Our concerns are neither political nor ideological. Our concerns are based on Christian values and moral responsibility and vision of healthcare that offers health, wholeness, and human dignity for all.  We would see millions of people who may be harmed by repeal without a replacement because they are currently experiencing the benefits of recent health reforms.”

Kristina McLean (download audio clip), a mother and cancer survivor currently benefiting from provisions of the Affordable Care Act in Knoxville, TN share her story:

“There’s 56 million people that have pre-existing conditions in this country. I have had cancer. That’s one of the big pre-existing conditions. I will never be able to get insurance again if we don’t have the Affordable Care Act and if they repeal it without a replacement. Even after going through all of this [cancer], and a getting a diagnosis of infertility, last January I had a baby girl, Madeline. But, I’m worried for her too. Women need to have access to good prenatal care. I had gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and ObamaCare is why my daughter is alive. It’s why I could get the health care that I needed to take care of myself and take care of her.  The plan that we’re on is wonderful. It’s not cheap but it gives us all the coverage we need. I don’t have to worry when something happens, ‘what am i going to do? How am i going to get that fixed’  I lived with that for a long time.

My family and I are praying very hard for health, wisdom and compassion. And that Senator Corker and Senator Alexander will vote NOT to repeal the Affordable Care Act without first having a good plan to the place of it. I’m a cancer survivor, I have a baby girl and we cannot afford to lose our health care. And there are millions and millions of other people out there who cannot afford to lose their health care either.”

Bishop Kevin L. Adams Sr. (download audio clip), Senior Pastor, Olivet Baptist Church in Chattanooga shared:

“We need our elected officials to understand that when decisions like this are made, the uneasiness it causes in our community. Christmas is certainly a time when the bible says that angels came and the message was “Peace. Joy” it was not a time of anxiety and worry over health care. People are anxious and worried so we are coming together and praying that this won’t be repealed without anything in place.”

Pastor Matt Steinhauer (download audio clip), Faith Lutheran Church in Lebanon, TN said:

“If you’re a Christian it’s a priority you turn toward those that God has turned toward.  And those are the sick, poor, the widow, orphan and the refugee.  Those are the people on the top of God’s legislative agenda.  I pray for and call on Senator Alexander, Senator Corker, and President-elect Trump and the other Congress folk that will be acting on this issue to just please remember the story of the Good Samaritan and Jesus’ challenge to care for the vulnerable. Don’t take health care form millions of Americans of people across our nation by repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement.”

Rev. Brian Merritt (download audio clip), Renaissance Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga closed with:

“Faith is at the core of this issue… It is not a political issue. It is not just a poor issue. We have to do justice for our people,” said Merritt. “Will people die because of lack of healthcare? Yes. People will die. Senator Alexander, Senator Corker and President-Elect Trump all claim to be Presbyterians. And I am a Presbyterian Minister.  Of all the reformation faiths, the reformed faiths was the one took the most seriously health. We don’t have an excuse to repeal something that is so essential to people’s lives with nothing that’s going to be a good replacement.”

For people in our communities, politics just isn’t as important as the life or death matter of access to affordable healthcare.  We see millions of people who may be harmed by repeal without a replacement because they are currently experiencing the benefits of recent health reforms like:

  • Children with pre-existing conditions who can no longer be excluded from coverage on their parents’ health insurance
  • Young adults who now have coverage on their parents’ policies
  • Senior adults who have received rebates for prescription drugs that had to be purchased once they reached the coverage gap; and senior adults who are now receiving annual preventive care check-ups with no out-of-pocket expenses
  • Women who can no longer be charged higher premiums because of their gender, and who are receiving mammograms and pap smears with no out of pocket expenses.
  • People with cancer and other serious medical conditions who will no longer be denied coverage by insurers; and who can no longer be dropped from coverage when they get sick
  • free, preventative care like

If repealed without a replacement all these protections and much more go away. As people of faith and Christians who believe health care is a moral obligation we are speaking up for the values of our faith.

Repealing the ACA without a replacement plan would not bring us closer to our Christian values, but would instead endanger the health and life of millions of American people.

We are calling on Senator Alexander, and Senator Corker this Christmas to pledge support for Christian values, and to oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act until there is first a replacement that ensures health, wholeness and human dignity for all.

About the Southern Christian Coalition:

The Southern Christian Coalition is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization believing that political debate has hijacked the pulpit, often distorting the values of our faith as we weigh important decisions as a society. We are Christians speaking up for the values of our faith.

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