Gazette editorial: Congress members who save health care will be heroes

AP photo
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., (center), walks on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday.

So far, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is a national hero. She refuses to support her party’s cruel attempt to take medical care away from 20 million Americans — including nearly 200,000 West Virginians — to give a tax cut to the rich. We hope she holds firm. Her crucial vote may be the deciding one preventing such a U.S. tragedy.

A group called Save My Care is broadcasting an ad that features Capito saying, “I think the 184,000 West Virginians — I’ve said repeatedly — I’m not going to drop you off a cliff. And in my view, the Senate bill was too much of a cliff.”

Bravo for her. This state owes her gratitude.

Other heroes include West Virginia clergymen and activists waging a brave struggle against the GOP health-destroying effort — including six who were arrested for occupying Capito’s Charleston office. On Sunday, 25 ministers signed a Gazette-Mail ad saying:

“People of faith are taking a stand for Medicaid. In every faith tradition, we are called to heal the sick, to comfort the suffering, to serve the poor and to love our neighbors. ... Affordable, quality healthcare is essential for care of the body and of the spirit, and Medicaid makes that care possible for more than one in four West Virginians.”

The ad asked Capito to continue opposing her party’s effort to halt the Affordable Care Act.

As a gesture of goodwill, we hope Capito asks police to drop charges against the group arrested at her office.

It’s shameful West Virginia’s three Republican members of the House of Representatives voted to revoke medical insurance for 20 million. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told reporter Jake Zuckerman:

“I don’t know how anyone in their right — I don’t know how our three congressmen voted for it, knowing it’s such a flawed piece of legislation that will hurt so many West Virginians.”

It will be a human disaster if Republicans succeed in slashing health care coverage. Save Our Care cited polls showing only 12 percent of Americans support the GOP effort.

Health care should be a human right for everyone. All other advanced democracies have universal systems covering each citizen. Eventually, America must attain that goal.

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