Christian Leaders React to Obamacare, Many Consider it 'Unconstitutional'
By Ruth Miyake - Crossmap On June 29, 2012
Christian leaders across the U.S. are responding to the Supreme Court's ruling on "Obamacare" with various concerns, with many expressing fear that the legislation would bring more harm than good.
Officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Obamacare was signed into law in 2010.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the law as constitutional, with a 5-4 vote.
The individual mandate included in Obamacare requires those who do not receive insurance coverage to receive healthcare.
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“Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it,” Obama after the ruling.
"If you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance – this law will only make it more secure and more affordable," the president said to the public.
"If you're one of the 30 million Americans who don't yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from."
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, former president of Chicago Theological Seminary and an ordained United Church of Christ minister, responded positively to Obamacare, saying that it will ensure the nation to live up to its religious values while complying with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
"Jesus taught his followers to have compassion for the sick, to be helpful including paying for health care for those who could not afford it," Thistlethwaite wrote in a Washington Post report.
"The 'Good Samaritan,' in a well-known story told by Jesus (Luke 10:25-37), is the person who stops and cares for an injured man left by the side of the road. In this teaching, Jesus tells how the privileged of his society had callously walked by the injured man, ignoring the man's urgent need for care."
Many, however, are concerned about the negative impact of the legislation, forcing Americans to pay higher costs for healthcare.
"Because of the mandate, Americans will be forced to pay for a system that will increase costs for patients, remove health care decisions from both the doctor and the patient and lead to rationing. It changes health care as we know it into a system based on one-size-fits-all, cost-controlled and conveyor belt socialized medicine," said Dr. Elaina George, a board-certified physician with the Project 21 African-American Conservative Leadership Network, according to The Christian Post.
"From the outset, Obamacare is fundamentally flawed legislation because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.
"Today's decision to uphold the individual mandate to force individuals to purchase health care plans that offend their conscience is incredibly disappointing."
"Over the last four years, President Obama has revealed his loyalty to the abortion industry. At no time was this clearer than during the health care reform debate, when he fought tenaciously for the largest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade. As the presidential race heats up, the Susan B. Anthony List will continue to remind American voters where the President's allegiance truly lies. We will not stop fighting until every U.S. taxpayer is freed from under-writing the abortion business."
The Alliance Defense Fund considered Obamacare unconstitutional, for it "treats American citizens like subjects."
"This administration has used health care law to become a dictator of conscience," ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden said.
"The court's decision is alarming and deeply wrong. ObamaCare holds your health care hostage and offers no real choice. Either comply and abandon your religious freedom and conscience, or resist and be fined for your faith."
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney too is among those who criticized the ruling.
"Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion," Romney said on Thursday.
"And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations. Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep."