It is almost impossible to imagine how someone could reconcile the teachings of Jesus with stripping millions of people of healthcare; however, that is exactly what Republicans, especially Trump voters, want to have happen. Over eighty percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and practically none of them support universal healthcare. How does that make sense?
First I thought it must be the basic idea set forth by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:10. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” This would follow the basic misconception that poor people do not work.
Decreasing the number of uninsured is a key goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which extends Medicaid coverage to many low-income individuals in states that have expanded and provides Marketplace subsidies for individuals below 400% of poverty. Most uninsured people are in low-income families and have at least one worker in the family. (kff.org)
This is not a valid reason, no matter which way you look at it. Even if it were about people who do not work, it would be the disabled and children who are unable to. If one were following in Jesus’ footsteps, He would command they be taken care of.
Further research shows a more complex reason, that of the End Times theology or Apocalyptism. Over half of strict evangelicals believe Christ will come back before 2050.
The apocalyptic theology that developed in the 1880s and 1890s led radical evangelicals to the conclusion that all nations are going to concede their power in the End Times to a totalitarian political leader who is going to be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving towards that event, you’re going to be very suspicious and skeptical of anything that seems to undermine individual rights and individual liberties, and anything that is going to give more power to the state. This is significant because to believe the world is rapidly moving to its end effects how you vote, how you’re going to structure your education, how you understand the economy, how you’re going to treat global events, how you’re going to look at organizations like the United Nations. (Religion Dispatch)
The key here is they are not considering the individuals who will be hurt by repealing the legislation in place, much less something more inclusive. They are intensely focused on the religious ideology that drives everything they do. Universal healthcare gives power to the state, which in their eyes is pretty much equivalent to the Antichrist. That must be what allows them to completely ignore Matthew 25.
Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.” The people then asked, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” In reply, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”
It would be so much easier if white evangelicals followed the teachings of their own holy book.