Atlanta Pastor Arrested On Capitol Hill For Protesting The Obamacare Repeal Proposal

Warnock arrested

Photo Credit: Steven D. Martin/National Council of Churches

The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock  has been released after being arrested, along with other pastors, during a protest against the proposed budget and efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

A photo shows Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, being placed  in handcuffs by Capitol police.

Warnock’s spokeswoman said he and others were singing and praying in the rotunda Russell Senate Office building as they were arrested. He said his arrest “was a small price to pay” when he considers others who suffer.

She said he was held for three hours, booked, paid a fine and was released.

In his statement he said:

“As a pastor, I believe that the national budget is not just a fiscal document, but a moral document. It reflects what we believe and who we are for one another. And if this mean spirited budget were an EKG, it would indicate that America has a heart condition. The government is taking student aid, job training and medicine from those who need it most in order to give a tax cut to those who need it least. We came to Washington as voices of healing and justice. America is better than this. That’s our message.”

Warnock and the Rev. Cynthia L. Hale, senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church were among a group of pastors who went to Washington to highlight the cuts in President Donald Trump’s budget that would adversely affect black communities, including proposed decreases in funding for education and civil rights programs.

Likewise, Trump  proposed zeroing our federal support for legal aid, which the White House said would put more control in local hands.

Hale said during a press conference in front of the Capitol:

“I have no doubt that even if the Republicans cannot repeal and replace (Obamacare), they will make every effort through the budget process to slash Medicare and leave millions without health care. I stand here today with my sisters and brothers to remind Congress that we as a nation have a moral obligation to ensure that every American’s life and health are safeguarded and protected so in the words of the Prophet Micah, ‘justice might roll down like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

There are bad reasons for going to jail and there are good reasons for going to jail. This would be a good reason for going to jail. I commend these preachers for what they are representing and especially for putting themselves in harm’s way to help many others.

Republicans and Donald Trump in particular, have long been trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

Donald Trump who is obsessed with Obama and undoing his legacy is personally hell bent on repealing what he calls the “failing” Obamacare, yet Republicans admit that they not come up with a plan b, c or d to replace it. This means the devastation of lost healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. It’s immoral.

According to, here are just a couple of downsides to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), especially with no replacement.

  • About 14 million fewer people would be insured by Medicaid, and 18 million fewer would have non-group coverage, for an increase of 32 million uninsured. But the CBO estimated eight million more would have employment-based coverage if the act were repealed. The net effect would be 24 million fewer people insured from 2016 to 2025.
  • Premiums in the “non-group” market, or those purchased directly through the marketplaces or from insurers, would rise 20 to 25% in the first year that the ACA was eliminated, according to a later CBO analysis (pdf), and double by 2026. The net effect is premiums could rise 100% for some users by 2026. 


Welcome to America where the rich get richer and the poor just keep on getting poorer. By the end of the Trump circus presidency, there probably won’t be much of a middle class left. The thought is terrifying.

John Legend, who often uses his social media platform to speak out against Trump and his unjustly political shenanigans, replied with the following:

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