Why there should be Mormon moral outrage over the GOP legislation that would replace the Affordable Care Act


A bill Republicans called a replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed the House on May 4 (though even 20 GOP legislators in the chamber voted against it) and it is now in the Senate chambers.

Many have called it a measure for tax cuts for insurance companies, “poorly disguised” tax breaks for the wealthy – “the Holy Grail of all this”; and more. Even the president who shares the party of the lawmakers who passed the bill, who has a reputation for being aggressive, bullish and unkind, called the legislation “mean” and too harsh. Low-income folks stand the greatest loss.

The bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act expanded health coverage for 12.8 to 22 million folks (there are reasons for the variance) and 23 million stand to lose theirs if the ACA is replaced with the other bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The House GOP passed its bill before the CBO had time to assess the bill and release its findings and now, the Senate's deliberations are behind closed doors, alarming the Republican party, aside from the Democrats. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was challenged on this after he tried to defend it.

A replacement is fine, but one that can’t preserve the health care of human beings isn’t. It’s a moral outrage.

Scripture from the Latter-day Saint movement speaks to this. In the Book of Mormon’s Book of Helaman, a section within the text, the Nephite people are chosen people before they apostatized, having been wicked – in a time of prospering, they did “secret oaths” and “plots… and their plans of awful wickedness,” among other practices. And they convinced others to participate in their evil doings.

Then the thirty-ninth verse of the section's sixth chapter reads:

"And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor..."

It is Latter-day Saint doctrine that the Book of Mormon was written for our day. Sadly, I find the activity in Washington over the ACA replacement offered to be more than a good argument for that.