Bishop John Wester: Pro-life? Support Medicaid Expansion

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City has called out those who claim to be pro-life but oppose extending healthcare coverage to those who need it. In affirming the Church’s “Whole Life” approach to the sanctity of life, the bishop has taken a strong stand for human life and dignity by backing Medicaid expansion. He wrote:

In a state that proudly proclaims its pro-life beliefs, denying readily available healthcare coverage to thousands does not promote the sanctity and dignity of life. It is imperative that we as a state provide health care to our low-income working families who otherwise are unable to afford it….

Utah cannot proclaim itself a pro-life state so long as it refuses to provide access to basic health care coverage to a significant portion of its citizens.

He did not mince words or opt for bland false equivalencies, but called out those truly responsible for this immoral legislative behavior:

Right now an opportunity to protect the dignity and sanctity of human life in Utah is being squandered by legislators who refuse to act in a morally responsible manner.

In the name of politics, Utah Legislators continue to block tens of thousands of Utahns from access to healthcare coverage….

Despite all of the expert advice, Republican leadership in the Legislature refuses to accept the realities, the facts, the numbers, and asks for more studies…

Whatever games legislators want to play, they are doing so with people’s lives. While they push for political points, low-income Utahns continue to get sick; continue to suffer from treatable, preventable diseases that without treatment become catastrophic…

While there is a vocal minority that regularly expresses distrust of the federal government in general, legislators could be on the forefront explaining why such paranoia is insufficient to deny health care to our citizens.

Supporting Medicaid expansion is a no-brainer for people who are actually pro-life. It’s encouraging that Bishop Wester has delivered this message so clearly and powerfully.