Saturday, August 22, 2009

The United Methodist Church supports a strong Public Option

From the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church:


In the United States, 45.7 million people were uninsured according to the U.S. Census report in 2008. However, a closer look at more recent data points to a much larger figure, 1 in 3 Americans or 86.7 million people who were uninsured at some point in the last 3 years. Yet, the United States has lacked significant health reform since Medicare and Medicaid were adopted in 1964. To address the growing crisis in health care which affects every American through inadequate or declining health care coverage, major gaps in the health care system which lead to life-threatening and costly mistakes, and spiraling costs-- a major contributor to the economic instability of individuals, families and U.S. businesses. Congress has an opportunity to address the the crisis in health care and the gross inequities caused by a profit-driven health care system. We call upon them to make enacting health care reform a top priority now.

The faith community has a particularly important role to play in this conversation because our concern is for the entirety of God’s creation. As United Methodists, we believe health care is a right. We have learned that when lives are at stake we cannot and must not walk away from the dialogue until every person has access to needed health care. That's where voices of faith are so very important to major reform in the U.S. and across the globe.

Achieving comprehensive health reform in the U.S. illustrates that our priorities are firmly fixed on the welfare of all of humanity and rejects the notion that health care is a commodity available only to those who can afford it. We call upon Members of Congress to consider the common good for the entirety of people in the U.S. and enact health care reform that covers everyone regardless of their ability to pay. Thus, a public option is essential to covering those who are unable to pay for health insurance. “Like police and fire protection, health care is best funded through the government’s ability to tax each person equitably and directly fund the provider entities.” (United Methodist Social Principle 162V)

I have never been more proud to call myself a United Methodist.

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