Anytime a secular journalist quotes the Bible, sirens go off in my head. With surveys showing 90 percent of donations by journalists go to liberal Democrat candidates (96 percent of journalists’ donations went to Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to the Center for Public Integrity) and editorial boards advocating unbiblical behavior (support for homosexuality and abortion), we ought to take notice when a journalist uses the Bible to justify a political position.
Such is the case with David Rosman of The Missourian in Columbia. In a May 19 column, Rosman writes that Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly violated what Scripture says about government caring for the poor. He cites Proverbs 19:17 (“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”) What is the source of Rosman’s heartburn? He accuses Senate Republicans and Gov. Mike Parson of cold-heartedness for not funding the expansion of the state’s corruption-plagued Medicaid program. (Medicaid fraud costs billions of dollars each year.)
Rosman is upset because the Republican-controlled Senate declined to fund Medicaid expansion after Missourians voted 53%-47% to expand it. Expansion would include Missourians 19-64 years old with an annual income of about $35,000 for a household of four.
Opponents cited deficit federal spending as their reason for not funding the expansion. This, as the Biden administration spends billions for people to stay home rather than work. With people earning up to $17 an hour to stay home, businesses are suffering from a worker shortage.
Meanwhile, Gov. Mike Parson did not include funding for Medicaid expansion in the state budget because there is no funding mechanism. That is the sole responsibility of the General Assembly. The matter is headed to court, where it could be years before a ruling. (If a judge seizes the General Assembly’s role of providing funds, it would violate the separation of powers.)
So, is Rosman right in saying Republicans and the governor are in violation of Proverbs 19:17? No. He is overusing this passage to advance his opinion. While it can apply to individuals working for the government, public servants can be constrained by law and other factors – like trillions in deficit spending. The Bible does not specifically address the issue of Medicaid expansion, nor is this passage addressed to governments.
The only money government has is that provided by taxpayers. For American families to stay strong, government should tax as little as possible while creating an environment that produces economic opportunity. That was the very point made by Rep. Cody Smith, the Republican chair of the House Budget Committee. The government has no money of its own, “only taxpayer dollars.”
Expanding the welfare state strengthens the federal government’s control over our lives, making us more dependent on government and ultimately robbing us of our freedom. Government-controlled health care does not always provide quality care and ultimately will decide who is worthy of saving and who is not. Do you not believe it? Then explain the deaths of 45 million unborn babies since 1973.
Which brings us to another problem with Medicaid. Lawmakers must return to Jefferson City before Sept. 30 to extend a set of taxes on medical providers. Failure to do so would leave the state budget severely out of balance, with a shortage of more than $2 billion for the state’s share of a $12 billion program.
Renewal of the taxes failed when Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, tried to bar Medicaid from paying for some contraceptives, and Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, wanted a provision prohibiting Planned Parenthood from being a Medicaid provider.
Surprisingly, it is an issue that has fractured the 24 Senate Republicans. Every member of the Republican caucus campaigned as an abortion opponent, Wieland told The Missouri Independent. His amendment was a chance to prove that commitment. Sadly, it appears Senate leadership is prepared to force a vote without Wieland’s and Onder’s provisions when they return.
Rosman’s citing of Proverbs was an attempt to use God’s Word to malign and mischaracterize truth. Federal and state government spends billions of dollars on the poor whether through Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and other services. Physicians are closing their practices to Medicaid patients due to Medicaid paying less than Medicare. This underpayment is having a negative impact on quality of care and investments, triggering long waiting lines for diagnostics, surgery and other referrals because of broken or outdated equipment. How do such conditions help the poor? Government has the responsibility of spending taxpayer dollars wisely through the private sector, rather than corrupt, inefficient Medicaid.
For some, government has become their god – the answer to every problem. But government is not a god. It serves at the pleasure of the one, true God, named Jesus.