WHEREAS, on Thursday May 4, 2017, United States House of Representatives narrowly won passage of the American Health Care Act - a bill that has the potential to transform the Nation healthcare insurance system and create a new state of winners and losers; and
WHEREAS, having heard significant opposition and concern from provider and consumer groups across the country; such as, the American Hospital Association, (AHA), American Medical Association, (AMA), American Nurse Association (ANA), and the American Association of Retired Persons, (AARP). All have issued statements opposing the bill. The heart of the opposition is concerned about the potential impact this bill would have on health insurance coverages and cost, particularly for our most vulnerable populations; and
WHEREAS, the bill's real effect is written to increase inequality to make the rich even richer. It is not a "health" plan. It is a wealth plan on behalf of the already-wealthy. The bill is filled with tax cuts for the rich, and
WHEREAS, this bill would have disproportionately negative impact on older Americans and those with pre-existing conditions due to the allowance of individual states to drastically change coverages and benefits by an opt-out clause; and
WHEREAS, this bill is expected to roll back the expansion of the Medicaid program to substantially reduce subsidies available to Americans just over the poverty line.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT; we, a body of men and women of faith who believe in the values of justice and fairness, are committed to ministering to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people, and find it our responsibility to advocate for our constituents and the American public in general; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT; the Baptist Education and Missionary Convention of South Carolina strongly oppose the passage of this bill by encouraging its leadership (churches, associations, unions, co-Labors, and departments) to aggressively notify our United States State Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Tim Scott), Governor Henry McMaster and other State leaders of our opposition of such bill; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT; as a body of believers, we will recommit to: First, turning to God in prayer for guidance as our nation makes decisions about our health coverages. Secondly, publishing this resolution in our church bulletins and local newspapers throughout the State of South Carolina.
This resolution was presented and approved during the 140th Session - Board Meeting - of the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina at the Savannah Grove Baptist Church. Effingham, S.C. on May 9, 2017.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Dr. James B. Blassingame, President
Dr. Samuel B. Neely, Executive Director
Greetings to the Baptist Family!
The United States Congressional Budget Office has just released its score on the American Health Care Act. Here's a brief summary of the report:
CBO estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to an estimated 52 million people in 2020. The average premiums for single policyholders would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher than under current law.
Some states, such as South Carolina, will discontinue the expansion of those who will be eligible for Medicare. Some states that would have expanded eligibility in the future would either cap or choose not to expand the program at all. Even, our preexisting health conditions will be controlled by our state government.
As mentioned in the Annual Session, we must speak out! All of our pastors and their members are encouraged to turn to God in prayer. Ask God for guidance upon those who will makes decisions about our health coverages. Additionally, publish this resolution in your church bulletins and local newspapers. Every member in the church should be encouraged to send a note, along with a copy of this resolution, to their Congressmen.
Please call Headquarters if there are questions!
May the Blessings of God forever be upon each of you!
Dr. Samuel B. Neely,
Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of SC
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