Looking Beyond Division ©


Bipartisanship is seemingly rare these days, but it does happen. Our daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Lowry Meek, works for The American Network of Community Options and Resources (known simply as ANCOR). ANCOR is a national trade group representing both for-profit and non-profit disability service providers. In plain English, their work is to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and assist them in getting the necessary services they need to lead full lives. She serves as ANCOR’s Senior Director for Legislative Affairs (otherwise known as a dreaded “lobbyist”).
 
Working with both the chairs and ranking members of the U. S. House of Representatives and Senate committees having jurisdiction over the Medicaid program (two Democrats and two Republicans), together they have crafted legislation that would provide critical financial relief to health care providers struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working across partisan lines, these members of Congress have reached out to the Secretary of U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to help “providers that rely heavily on Medicaid including home-and-community-based services (HCBS) providers, providers for individuals with disabilities, behavioral health providers, pediatricians, obstetricians and gynecologists, school-based providers, children’s hospitals, and many other types of essential providers, such as primary care providers and family practices. While this is not an exhaustive list, these providers represent a foundational element of our health system: care for children, care for the elderly, and care for our most vulnerable.” Additionally, our daughter has helped craft legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives for more payments for people with disabilities.
 

Sarah Meek, ANCOR's Senior Director of Legislative Affairs (and Bishop Lowry's favorite Lobbyist)

Why do I share all this? Well, for starters, I am a proud father who celebrates his daughter’s work (and, in my eyes, lay ministry) to those with disabilities. However, I have a greater purpose than simply bragging as a parent. While we, as a country, are snared in a bitter partisan divide – a divide that is damaging not just individuals, political candidates and the two major parties, but one that is hurting our nation as a whole – it is well to remember that some good has been and is being done by both major parties working together to help those in need.
 
Quite famously Jesus said, “I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.” (Matthew 25:45) I offer no partisan platitudes here, rather a word of appreciation for a collective work of mutual concern reaching out to those most in need among us. Surely, for Christians, however we might disagree for whom to vote, working together “for the least of these” is of the Lord.