Medical Doctor and first-term Republican congressmoran from Kansas Roger Marshall has some novel thoughts on why it’s OK to repeal the Affordable Care Act and potentially leave 20 million people without health insurance. In an interview with medical blog STAT, Marshall explained the ACA hadn’t really helped anyone anyway, and so repealing it would be no biggie. Besides, it’s right there in the Bible, in the Book Of I Got Mine, Fuck You:
“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” he said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”
Pressed on that point, Marshall shrugged.
“Just, like, homeless people. … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care,” he said. “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.”
In mere reality, ThinkProgress cites a 2016 Harvard School of Public Health study finding that Medicaid expansion improved health for low-income people in Arkansas and Kentucky and also reduced ER visits, saving everyone money, hooray.
Marshall, an alleged human being and purported follower of Jesus Christ, then went on to explain his own practice, which he hopes will become a model for hospitals nationwide. This stuff gets him excited, and oh boy, it’s going to get you excited too!
“Our vision was that we would look more like a hotel with customer service that delivered five-star health care,” he said. “So our cafeteria looks more like a coffee shop than it does a sterile hospital dining room. We have bright windows everywhere, and outside of every window there’s a garden. Thinking that healing is more than just a knife and a needle.”
Isn’t that wonderful? And so much nicer than boring poor people who frankly are too lazy to join a gym and work on their cardio anyway. We think maybe Jesus had some things to say about really rich people and needles, too, but we could be wrong. We won’t even begin to think about what Jesus would say about denying health insurance to 20 million people — though Max Von Sydow probably had it right in Hannah and Her Sisters when he said if Christ saw what was being done in his name, “He’d never stop throwing up.”
Marshall’s comments didn’t sit so well with North Carolina NAACP head Rev. William Barber. On Saturday’s “AM Joy,” Barber told Joy Reid that Marshall’s out-of-context reference to “the poor will always be with you” amounted to “a form of heresy,” since it twisted the scripture:
Well, that is a form of heresy, again, it’s a misquoting of scripture; it is what the so-called religious evangelicals put out there. […] If you go back to Deuteronomy, that scripture says because the poor will be with you, then you should care for the poor, you should care for the alien, and it was talking to the nation. Jesus, if He did anything, provided free health care, Joy.
We don’t even need Jesus to have been the literal son of God for us to prefer that read of the verse, but then, we tend to pay far more attention to the Sermon on the Mount and to Matthew 5:34-46, with all that “whatsoever you do to the least of these” stuff, than we do the to stuff about abominations, because we are godless commies who think everyone should get at least decent health care before we worry too much about whether a hospital will make the Michelin guide.
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