Over 100 national, state, and local faith leaders are imploring Republican governors to have the “wisdom and integrity” to expand their states’ Medicaid programs to cover an estimated 17 million low-income Americans who cannot currently afford health insurance. A joint statement issued by the religious leaders calls on lawmakers to accept the Medicaid expansion under Obama’s health reform law because “depriving struggling families of healthcare is wholly incompatible with the teachings of our faiths and the ideals of our nation.”
In a press call releasing the faith leaders’ statement, Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of the Catholic social justice group NETWORK, said governors should embrace extending Medicaid coverage to uninsured Americans as a pro-life policy:
I call on all governors to expand Medicaid coverage in order to save thousands of lives. My strong support of Medicaid expansion comes out of my pro-life stance because it is the right and moral thing to do.
Campbell — who headed up the Nuns On A Bus tour this summer to raise awareness about the House Republican budget’s devastating effects on the poor — said that, as a person of faith, she believes it is wrong for a nation to fail to take the necessary steps to care for its citizens.
The religious leaders who added their names to the statement join the 43 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who have also called on GOP governors to “refuse to play politics with people’s health” and agree to expand the Medicaid programs in their states. Nevertheless, Republican governors in states including Texas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have pledged to reject the Medicaid expansion.