People For the American Way

African American Clergy Condemn Vote to Repeal Health Care Reform


Contact: Drew Courtney or Miranda Blue at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Today, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the comprehensive health care reform bill passed in the last Congress. Members of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action, a nationwide multi-denominational group of progressive African American clergy, voiced the following reactions to the vote:  

“If America is to become the great example of a democratic republic that it was created to become, then health care must be a reality for all Americans.  Any attempt by any in Congress to deny this democratic dream to millions of deserving Americans is an effort to take our nation in the wrong.  Health care reform is the law of the land.  This law should be celebrated not repealed.”

–Reverend Timothy McDonald, III
Pastor, First Iconium Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA
Chair, African American Ministers In Action


“In the midst of one of the most challenging times our nation has ever faced, the new Republican majority chooses to symbolically attack health care instead of systemically addressing the need for more jobs. Am I dreaming or did this really happen?  

–Reverend Rolen Lewis Womack, Jr., D. Min.
Pastor, Progressive Baptist Church, Milwaukee, WI
Chair, African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC)


“After nearly a century of deliberation about health care for all, we finally took a major step in the right direction.  This law enables us to envision a health care future that affords health, wholeness, and human dignity for all.  It lays the foundation for a system of health care that is inclusive, affordable, accessible, and accountable.  Our support of the Affordable Care Act is based on how reform measures up to “A Faith-Inspired Vision of Health Care,” which elevates the common good, compassion, shared responsibility, concern for those who are vulnerable, and the equitable distribution of our abundant health care resources.”

–Reverend Melvin E. Wilson
Pastor, St. Luke A.M.E. Church, New York, NY
President, A.M.E. Ministerial Alliance of New York & Vicinity


“For Congress to consider repealing health care really means they are disconnected from the people of this nation and don’t understand the needs of those who don’t have and can’t afford it. Their actions say they have no reason to be concerned about health care since they are covered and protected for life.”

–Reverend Isaac C. McCullough
Chair, Committed Caring Faith Communities (CCFC), St Louis, MO


“The symbolic vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act shows that right-wing leaders in Congress are focused on letting the insurance industry pursue their profits, rather than focusing on the issues that are important to everyday Americans who are concerned with issues like getting out of foreclosure and attaining employment.”

–Reverend Charles E. Williams II

Pastor, Historic King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit, MI


“If our elected officials thought it inappropriate to take a vote to repeal healthcare last week in the shadow of Tucson, then does the passage of another week make it more appropriate? The remarkable recovery that their colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is making can be largely attributed to not only God’s amazing grace, but to the level of medical care she is receiving. So while they are holding prayer meetings one day and delivering evil votes the next, I have two questions: To whom are you praying? And how then do you pray to that God that requires us to care about the least among us?”

–Reverend Brendolyn Jenkins,
Founder, The Imani Group, Aiken, SC


“We, the African American community, believe that every citizen of this nation is entitled to health care. Keep the Obama Health Care Reform Bill. This is not an option – it’s an obligation.”

–Reverend Gerald Lamont Thomas, Ph.D.
Nat’l Chair, Social Action on Public Policy
Progressive Nat’l Baptist Convention, Inc.
Plainsfield, NJ