Health Care is a Basic Human Right

The General Secretary's statement on Congressional Efforts to rollback health care

by Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe on March 07, 2017

“From our earliest days United Methodists have believed that providing health care to others is an important duty of Christians” (Book of Resolutions, #3201 Health Care for All in the United States).

Communities of faith have prayed, rallied and advocated for health care for all people for decades. A few years ago, we got one step closer through the passage of the Affordable Care Act. While not perfect, it expanded health care to millions of people in the United States.

Members of Congress have now released a bill that not only rolls back the progress made by the Affordable Care Act, but also dismantles the historic protections in Medicaid. Medicaid is a vital, decades-old program that provides health care to working class people, low-income families, pregnant women, people with disabilities and those who need long-term care.

We must not allow our leaders to take away affordable and accessible health care from the communities who need it to live and live abundantly.

This bill has been promoted as a “fix” to the health care system in the United States but will do nothing to improve access and affordability. Instead, it will harm many in the congregations and communities in which we live and serve. People will die because of efforts like this to roll back health care.

The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church state, “Health care is a basic human right” (Social Principles ¶162.V). Each person deserves health care regardless of our religion, social standing or ability to pay.

I will be calling my members of Congress to urge them to vote no on the bill, and I encourage United Methodists in the United States to join me in advocating for a health care system that leaves no person behind.

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