Friday letters: Remember to love thy neighbor

March 28, 2014 

— We’re undoubtedly the most powerful nation on earth, and arguably the most prosperous. All of the other major industrialized nations recognize health care as a basic human right, not a privilege.

Republicans who oppose this principle are on the wrong side of history. They say they’re against the Affordable Care Act because it’s unworkable, but have no alternative plan to care for people who are too poor to get preventive health services or too disabled to support themselves financially. Hardcore conservatives don’t think the government should be responsible for caring for our neediest citizens, even in times of relative prosperity.

Many Republicans in the Legislature want to turn down Medicaid funds that would prevent illness and save lives, purely on ideological grounds. South Carolinians will pay the federal taxes for Medicaid, whether any of the extra money comes to our state or not.

What has happened to Christian values like, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”? When Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” he told the story of the Good Samaritan.

Legislators who profess to be Christians seem to be more wedded to the values of dog-eat-dog capitalism: “Every man for himself.” They are like the priest and the Levite who passed by their injured neighbor, unconcerned with his plight. They need to put the welfare of the neediest of their constituents above their more-conservative-than-thou political posturing.

Jeffrey C. Koob

Columbia

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