SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” Matthew 6:21… and “When we prioritize political partisanship over people it is a damning indication of where are hearts are.” So read two quotes from the letter given to the office of Representative Billy Long by Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri and other Springfield groups on Wednesday.
“We’re concerned about this replacement,” says the Faith Group’s congregational coordinator Susan Schmalzbauer.
She says it’s the letter directly addresses Long’s support of the American Healthcare Act.
“That doesn’t really seem like enough to really help people,” Schmalzbauer says.
She says– as the mother of a son with what the act calls a preexisting condition, she can’t help but fight for the act’s failure.
“He had a health crisis that required him to be in the hospital for… for a month,” Smalzbauer says. “These protections have been taken away without listening to constituents… listening to constituents that are affected.”
Other protesters Wednesday took a more visual approach.
Suzanne Thomas is one of about 25 people playing dead in the streets of Springfield Wednesday.
“I don’t think a lot of Missourians know how much this will impact them,” says Thomas.
But Doctor Tricia Derges also has an emotional tie to healthcare progress,
“These people really had hoped for some care,” says Derges.
Her clinic Lift Up Springfield serves the city’s impoverished and homeless. A community the current national healthcare plan overlooks, she says.
“It’s really thrown them into a group where there is no help,” Derges says.
And now she’s convinced Representative Long standing behind anything other than Obamacare is progress.
“I’m glad that he did because it’s just going to move things forward,” she says.