Faith Leaders Call on Senators to Protect Medicaid

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2017
Ashley Wilson,, 202-601-7856

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The faith community is doing all it can to protect health care for millions of people who are slated to lose coverage should the American Health Care Act become law. The faith community is especially concerned about proposals to cap or cut Medicaid. Right now, the AHCA contains changes that would undermine this already lean and very effective program in a way that it would not recover from.

Today, 34 organizations representing Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Methodist, Lutheran, Quaker and other faith traditions sent a letter to all Senators to let them know that any health care bill they send to the Congressional Budget Office must not contain cuts to Medicaid. For the next two weeks and beyond, the faith community is continuing our advocacy in states like Maine, Alaska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to let Senators know that people of faith in their community are expecting them to protect Medicaid.

Next week, leaders of Washington faith-based advocacy offices will be meeting with various Senators and their staff on this important issue.  Here are some quotes from faith leaders who are advocating to protect Medicaid:

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice:

“Medicaid answers a civic and faithful call to care for the most vulnerable in our society. Any attempt by Congress to weaken this program is cruel and mean-spirited. We people of faith will continue to insist that our values are the basis for action, not crass economic choices. The AHCA is a trojan horse tax bill that promotes trickle-down economics, which Pope Francis says is wrong. Senators: Don’t hurt our people; protect Medicaid.”

Reverend Jimmie Hawkins, Director, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness:

“There is no greater responsibility for the government than to be engaged in care for our most vulnerable citizens. It is a moral responsibility that should only be strengthened and there is no justification which can be given to cut away funding. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness strongly opposes any decision that repeals or rolls back the Medicaid expansion or truncates Medicaid’s financing.”

Reverend David Beckman, President, Bread for the World:

“Protecting Medicaid is a priority for the faith community. Taking away Medicaid from 14 million people will increase hunger and poverty in the United States. Without health insurance, people must often choose between putting food on the table and receiving the medical care they need. Bread for the World prays that senators will oppose any attempt to weaken this life-saving program.”

Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation:

“Medicaid serves as a lifeline for tens of millions of Americans. Yet, Congress continues to consider proposals that are unfair to low-income individuals and perpetuate injustice. Capping Medicaid and rolling back the Medicaid expansion will do nothing to address instability in the marketplace or lower premiums. Instead, states will be forced to eliminate health services, leaving millions without access to needed care. I urge the Senate to reject these irresponsible proposals and instead call upon every senator to reject capping Medicaid and any rollback of the Medicaid expansion. Congress needs to work in a responsible and deliberate manner to truly address the real problems within America’s health care system.”

Barbara Weinstein, Director, Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism:

“Medicaid is a central aspect of our social contract as Americans, ensuring that people in the most dire need — including children, low-income Americans, and people with disabilities — have access to health insurance. Ending the successful Medicaid expansion created by the Affordable Care Act and creating a per capita cap on the program would break that covenant. This is not only an affront to American values, but Jewish tradition as well.”

If you are interested in scheduling interviews with any faith leaders about healthcare, please contact Ashley Wilson at or 202-301-7856. Download a PDF of the letter at


NETWORK, advocates for justice inspired by Catholic sisters, educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a more than 40-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.