Why Christians Should Oppose Expanding Medicaid

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1) The Church’s duty. God calls the family and the Church – not the State – to care for the sick and the poor among us. Rather than living out God’s command to care for the sick and the poor, Christians who support a massive expansion of the Medicaid welfare program in Virginia are illegitimately ceding their own responsibility to the State.

2) Government replaces the Church. The State’s expansion of Medicaid would be a further usurpation of the Church’s exclusive God-given mission to care for the sick and the poor. In doing so, the State minimizes an essential function of the Church in society by depriving the Church of many of its best opportunities to serve the least of these in order to meet both their physical and spiritual needs.

3) Idolatry of the State. The unassailable tendency of government welfare programs like Medicaid is to make an idol of the State. Since the State becomes for many their provider, sustainer, healer, the one on whom they depend, and the one they turn to in times of need, they naturally attribute to government the honor and glory rightly due to God. And they increasingly turn to government agencies instead of the Church, who can point them to God. The greatest idolatry of our time may rightly be deemed the silent worship of the false god of the welfare State.

4) Government theft and redistribution of wealth. Instead of encouraging voluntary giving out of a spirit of charity, love, generosity, and Godly obedience, expanding Medicaid necessarily involves an illegitimate confiscation of private property through the coercive power of the State, accompanied by a system of redistributing that property to select people whom the State deems worthy. Because the State lacks the rightful jurisdiction for charitable giving, welfare programs like Medicaid rob from some what is rightfully theirs in order to give it to others to whom it does not belong.

5) Undercutting those most in need. Expanding Medicaid from the most needy and vulnerable populations to cover able-bodied adults further dilutes the impact of already scarce resources. Under Virginia’s current Medicaid program, only one in five doctors will even accept Medicaid patients. Expanding the program adds hundreds of thousands more Virginians to the list of eligible enrollees, but doesn’t add any more doctors, nurses or medical facilities to accommodate them – making it even harder for the most needy to receive care.

6) Strapping future generations with our debt. Expanding Medicaid is morally wrong because it will strap our children and grandchildren with mountains of future debt they cannot pay back, by substantially adding to the federal deficit in order to pay for what has already proven to be a fiscally unsustainable program. 

7) The curse of generational dependency. All government welfare/entitlement programs have proven by experience to create generational dependency upon the State, instead of promoting and allowing for personal responsibility and advancement. Such programs create a perverse incentive to remain below a certain financial threshold, to hide income sources, and to engage in illegitimate forms of trade. And while purporting to help individuals in their time of need, far too often such programs trap individuals and effectively consign them to a status of helplessness rather than health.   

8) Contributing to family breakdown. People of faith should discourage further expansions of welfare programs like Medicaid because they have been shown to be a major contributing factor to family breakdown, and particularly, to the rise of fatherless households. Medicaid creates a disincentive for people to marry because it rewards those whose income remains separate, and thus lower.

9) Lack of personal accountability. Government welfare programs like Medicaid fail to accomplish what they seek to fix and always cost more than anticipated because of the lack of personal accountability for the individual beneficiaries of the program. When an impersonal governmental entity provides for a person’s needs with tax dollars it obtained by force, that person begins to feel entitled. When a private person, affiliated with a private organization provides for a person’s needs with money that was voluntarily and sacrificially given, a relationship with accountability is formed, the person being helped begins to feel both grateful and empowered, and the one who helped them is better able to determine whether that person should continue to be helped.

10) More taxpayer-funded abortions. Expanding Medicaid in Virginia will lead to more abortions and at taxpayer expense. When Illinois, for example, expanded its Medicaid program under Obamacare, it led to the funding of at least 12,000 more abortions per year.

Beyond the direct funding of abortion, expanding Medicaid will mean millions more in funding flowing to the five Planned Parenthood abortion centers in Virginia for “family planning” services.

11) Violating conscience rights. If the massive federal power grab of much of America’s healthcare industry has shown us anything, it is that it sets up many more conflicts between the priorities of the State and the conscience rights of individuals. The field of medicine continues to force upon medical professionals, business owners, and taxpayers alike increasingly difficult choices – like paying for and/or participating in abortions, various forms of contraception, stem-cell research, human genetic engineering, physician-assisted suicide, hormone therapy, and “gender-reassignment” surgery. These would only increase by expanding Medicaid.   

12) The deterioration of liberty. Every time the government’s power and dominion grows, all of our liberty shrinks with inverse proportionally. The surest way to preserve the freedom to fully live out our faith is to keep government limited and within its proper scope. We do this by avoiding things like the massive expansion of Medicaid.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Virginia Christian Alliance
The mission of the VIRGINIA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE is to promote moral, social and scientific issues we face today from a Biblical point of view. In addition we will refute and oppose, not with hate, but with facts and humor, the secular cultural abuses that have overridden laws and standards of conduct of the past. We will encourage Christians to participate in these efforts through conferences, development of position papers, booklets and tracts, radio/TV spots, newspaper ads and articles and letters-to-the editor, web sites, newsletters and providing speakers for church and civic meetings.