In the middle of the night, during a hearing on the new Republican healthcare bill, Rep. Joe Kennedy III cast doubt on Paul Ryan’s moral compass.
Rep. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), the grandson of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, took issue with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s comments that the Republicans’ goal of repealing to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was an “act of mercy.” Kennedy, who was raised Catholic, accused his fellow Catholic of not abiding by what the Bible calls on Christians to do for the needy.
“With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different Scripture,” Rep. Kennedy said. “The one I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick.”
“[The Bible] reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful, but by how we care for the least among us,” he added, before breaking down the meaning of mercy for Speaker Ryan.
“There is is no mercy in a system that makes health care a luxury.
“There is no mercy in a country that turns their back on those most in need of protection: the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the suffering.
“There is no mercy in a cold shoulder to the mentally ill.
“This is not an ‘act of mercy.’ It is an act of malice.”
Rep. Kennedy then laid into a legislative counsel on site to help explain the legal implications of the American Health Care Act. The Massachusetts Congressman rhetorically cornered the legislative counsel, forcing them to admit that the legislation rolled back mental health benefits initially offered by Obamacare.
Watch video of the exchange below:
Watch GOP lawyers admit that GOP repeal plan will cut off coverage to millions of Americans suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders.
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.