Yesterday, July 13, 2017, clergy and people of faith came together in Washington, D.C. for the March to Save Medicaid, Save Lives, to fight back against the life-threatening cuts to Medicaid that are being debated in the Senate over the American Health Care Act right now. The first version of the AHCA slashed Medicaid, endangering more than 22 million Americans who rely on Medicaid for their health care needs. The most recent version being proposed by Senator McConnell guts most of the protections for people who have pre-existing conditions, instead allowing insurers to offer minimal policies with very high deductibles. Because the bill still lacks enough votes to pass, Sen. McConnell has decided to keep legislators in session until August 14, at which time it is likely that the AHCA will fail.

In response to this immoral legislation and the window of opportunity to kill this bill before it kills any more people, Rev. Dr. William Barber II (Repairers of the Breach), Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis (Kairos Center), Rev. Traci Blackmon (UCC Justice and Witness Ministries), Rev. Jennifer Butler (Faith in Public Life), friends from the American Friends Service Committee and other concerned clergy and people of faith who have joined the Moral Mondays’ Movement and Poor People’s Campaign went to Sen. McConnell’s office yesterday. Rev. Barber, Rev. Theoharis, Rev. Blackmon, Rev. Butler, Joel Segal, Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, Rev. Robyn Tanner, Rev. Erica Williams, and others were arrested for their moral opposition to this legislation, even as they called out its devastating impact on the people of Kentucky, Sen. McConnell’s home state, and millions of people around the country.

Indeed, this health care bill has prompted people from all over to stand up and take action. James Brigham, pastor from North Carolina is marching from Rockingham, North Carolina, to Washington D.C. in protest to the cuts to Medicaid and for his 9-year old daughter’s human right to health care. Just in North Carolina, these cuts would impact about 142,000 children.

Rev. Erica Williams and Rev. Dr. William Barber are arrested outside of Sen. McConnell's office while singing and chanting.
Rev. Erica Williams and Rev. Dr. William Barber are arrested outside of Sen. McConnell's office.

See videos from the march and civil disobedience on the Repairers of the Breach Facebook page. And read more about the March to Save Medicaid, Save Lives and yesterday’s civil disobedience here:

Religious leaders arrested in act of civil disobedience against Senate’s “immoral” health care bill (ThinkProgress)

Clergy arrested outside McConnell’s office while protesting health care bill (National Catholic Reporter)

NC NAACP’s Barber arrested in DC after health-care protest outside McConnell’s office (Charlotte News & Observer)

And hear more from Rev. Barber on the moral question of health care on the Gathering: A Time for Reflection, Revival and Resistance, a monthly podcast on the moral issues of our time.