Leaders of different faith traditions mobilized outside the district office of U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) to issue what they described as “a moral call to the Congressman” before a possible vote on the American Health Care Act.
The faith leaders called on the veteran Republican Congressman to protect the country’s most vulnerable citizens who they said would be harmed should the proposed bill be enacted.
Although Frelinghuysen’s “no” vote sank the AHCA in March, he has not announced his position on the amendment penned by his colleague, U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3).
His office this week did not respond to a query for comment by InsiderNJ.
“I am one of the millions of people in this country, one of the thousands in this 11th District who have a pre-existing condition. I can afford my health care coverage because of the ACA,” said Rev. Allison Miller, of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. “I respectfully ask why Congressman Frelinghuysen would want to do harm to me or millions of others? We have a moral obligation to care for our fellow man – voting for this bill, when the harm it will cause is documented, is a violation of that obligation. I call upon Congressman Frelinghuysen to vote ‘no’ to this bill just as he announced he would in March.”
Rev. Sidney Williams, of the Bethel AME Church in Morristown said, “The Congressional Budget Office has already determined that this bill will cut 24 million people in the country off from health care coverage. The United Nations has already determined that those results are tantamount to human rights violations. This is not politics. This is matter of life and death. This is about the lives of children with special needs, and parents and grandparents who have illnesses. And we don’t see how anyone could vote for this bill with a clear conscience.” The United Nations sent a letter to the US State Department expressing concern that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would be “at odds with its international obligations,” and that the loss of coverage suffered by so many could violate “the right to social security of the people in the United States.”