U.S. Politics

Tennessee woman makes the faith-based case for Obamacare

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THINK PROGRESS

The individual mandate is expressive of Christian values, she says.

A Tennessee woman is making waves for offering a faith-based defense of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), arguing that the health care law’s core provision reflects Christian values.

During a town hall Thursday night in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, local resident Jessi Bohon rose to ask Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) a question about health care. After identifying herself as a resident of Black’s district, she launched into a discussion of the ACA’s individual mandate — the requirement that all Americans either purchase health insurance or pay a fine.

The policy has long been defended for its practical benefits, such as how putting more healthy people into the health care system brings down costs for those who are sick.

But while Bohon clearly understood the technical aspects of the law, she grounded her support for the requirement in her faith.

“The ACA mandate requires everyone to have insurance because the healthy people pull up the sick people, right?” she said. “As a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is to pull up the unfortunate.”

Watch Bohon’s question below:

Bohon went on to detail why removing the mandate would only hurt average Americans, wondering aloud why lawmakers would end health insurance for 20 million without offering a replacement.

Video of her passionate defense has caught the attention of outlets such as CNN and Time.com, and has already accrued more than 20,000 retweets and 38,000 likes on Twitter.

Although her theological defense of the ACA may surprise some Americans, Bohon is hardly the first person to make a faith-based case for Obamacare. Religious groups have been key allies of the ACA since its inception, backing it when it was signed into law and lending out their sanctuaries and worship spaces to help fellow citizens enroll in health care programs.

A chorus of religious groups have also decried ongoing attempts by the Trump administration and GOP lawmakers to repeal the ACA. Organizations such as the National Council of Churches, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, NETWORK, and the CEO of the Catholic Hospital Association have all spoken out against repealing Obamacare, and a litany of Christian denominations participated in a call-in day to dissuade lawmakers from gutting it.

Jack Jenkins

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