Press Release

As the House moves to a vote, Dr. Richard Land affirms his opposition to health care bill

Mar 20, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, reiterated his resolute opposition to House passage of the current health care bill in remarks today.

“The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is a strong supporter of health care reform–genuine reform that would preserve the private nature of our health care system while reducing costs, maintaining the highest possible standard of care and ensuring that federal dollars cannot be used to subsidize abortion. Unfortunately, the health care bill falls well short of these ideals.

“The bottom line is that the legislation, which is currently under consideration, will result in government funding of elective abortion, which will lead, as some experts project, to a 30 percent increase in abortions in America. This legislation, if passed, will be the largest expansion of abortion since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

“Furthermore, I am confident this legislation will in very short order lead to the elderly waiting longer to see their doctors and longer for treatment after they’ve seen their doctors, which for many of them will be a fatal wait.

“Ultimately, this legislation will mean that most Americans will live shorter lives than they would otherwise, experiencing more pain and suffering before they die.

“Furthermore, we are appalled by efforts to ram through health care reform via reconciliation. This process has been historically reserved for budgetary measures, not restructuring one-sixth of the U.S. economy and radically changing social policies. Even if the House does agree to some fixes, the health care bill cannot be adequately repaired through this process. Also alarming is consideration of pushing through reform under the so-called Slaughter Rule, whereby the House would pass the Senate bill without actually voting on it.

“I sent letters today to 104 congressmen, including to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), expressing opposition to the Senate-passed health care bill and urging their continued efforts to stop its passage in the House, regardless of the so-called fixes offered to the bill via the reconciliation process.

“Opposition to this legislative monstrosity does not indicate a failure to understand that we need significant health care reform. The "ERLC":http://erlc.com/ has outlined "15 biblically based principles":http://erlc.com/article/erlc-offers-fifteen-principles-for-successful-health-care-reform/ by which all attempts at health care reform should be evaluated. A review of those principles will illustrate just how woefully lacking the current legislation is in meeting those principles.”

_The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 44,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C._