Maine religious leaders urge Sen. Collins to take a stand against health care repeal

from the Maine Beacon, June 25, 2017Members of Faith in Public Life and Mainers for Accountable Leadership rallied in  Portland’s Lobsterman Park on Friday to urge Senator Susan Collins to oppose the Republican health care repeal plan.

“Speaking with one voice, we implore you to oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act on moral grounds,” said Sister Jackie Moreau of Portland. “Amid all this needless suffering, it carves massive tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans. It is the very definition of unjust legislation.”

The repeal plan was crafted behind closed doors and released to the public on Thursday, with votes expected on the legislation as early as next week. While Senator Collins has expressed concerns over certain provisions within the legislation she has not yet said if she will oppose the bill.

“This is a brutal bill, both cruel and selfish. The double sin of this legislation is that, in addition to its being heartless, the haste and stealth of Republican leaders pushing for its passage have degraded democratic Senate practice that safeguards our freedom,” said Rabbi Josh Chasan, “It repeals the Affordable Care Act’s defined essential benefits and ban on lifetime limit, making it easier for insurance companies to withhold coverage for pregnancy, cancer treatments and other medical events that are the reason Americans buy insurance in the first place.”

Faith leaders said they will continue to reach out to their parishioners, sharing a Moral Declaration on Health Care and asking them to call Sen. Collins.

“It would be immoral and it would be contrary to the teachings of scripture that we hold dear to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the Republican bill. It would make the sick sicker and do it all so we can give tax cuts to the rich. It’s a bill that falls woefully short when God’s measuring stick of morality is applied” said Reverend Jane Field, Executive Director of the Maine Council of Churches.

Photo via Elise Martin.