Congressman Marshall, a member of the House’s “Doctor’s Caucus”, believes that the poor do not want health care based on his understanding of the Christian Bible and his personal experiences according to an interview that he had with Stat News.
“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,'” Congressman Marshall said in response to a question about Medicaid. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves,” he explained.
“The Medicaid population, which is a free credit card as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising.”
He continued, “And I’m not judging; I’m just saying socially that’s where they are. So there’s a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought the ER.”
Congressman Marshall, an evangelical Christian, claims that he did not mean to offend anyone with his comments. “I am a physician, not a politician,” he said in a press release following the controversy.
The Congressman is by far not the only Republican to lack empathy for the impoverished.
Former congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) claimed that the poor must choose between having a cellular phone and affording health insurance premiums. Like Congressman Marshall, Mr. Chaffetz was roundly criticized.
Both Mr. Chaffetz and Mr. Marshall’s comments evidence their party’s real position on poverty: Being poor is a choice.