Why Is Health Care For Everyone A Christian Issue?

an invitation for study and reflection, and advocacy and action using a paper Health Care – An Imperative, and a study guide prepared by the Vermont Ecumenical Council

For Christians, the assertion that accessible, affordable, and equitable health care for all is a moral imperative rooted in Scripture and in our history. Health Care – An Imperative

Scripture tells us…
The Lord heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

God.. executes justice for the oppressed; gives food to the hungry; lifts up those who are bowed down (and) upholds the orphan and widow. Psalm 146

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness… Micah 6:8

Jesus commands us to ‘heal the sick’ (Mt 10:8); commends those who provide care (Mt. 25:31-40); urges Christians to share in his ministry of healing and compassion (Mk. 6:12-13).

In James, the message is given that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-17; 5:13-16).

For Christians, providing care for the sick is not optional – it is an imperative of justice as well as charity. Health Care – An Imperative

Churches historically have pioneered caring responses of hospitality, health care and recovery, not just for Christians, but for the whole society. The church has never sought to take over this responsibility in society, but rather to encourage the whole society to be responsible for the health of all.

Health Care – An Imperative

The need for affordable, accessible, equitable health care is clear…

  • 15% nationally and 10% in Vermont are without insurance.
  • The United States spends twice as the average per capita amount for health care of all industrialized nations. Vermont costs were 2.9 billion in 2003; in a state of over 600,000 people this is nearly $5,000 per person.
  • This spending has not brought the best results in health care outcomes such as length of life. American women are 20th out of 29th in health care outcomes.
  • We currently charge the most for health care services to people who are uninsured. When they cannot pay, the cost is shifted to the insured.
  • There has been no control over the fastest growing cost – pharmaceutical drugs.
  • The employer-based health care benefit system is in crisis.

Telephone (802) 434-3397 ++ PO Box 764 ++Richmond, VT 05477

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