American Health Care Voices / Initiatives – Featuring Faith Voices

Dear Readers!

It  seems I’m not easily making it past the topic of need for universal health coverage.

From my point of view, Health Care Need is so deeply implicated in most of America’s woes, that it holds front burner position whether we want it there or not.

My mother was tuned into the wisdom : when the ox is in the well, less critical concerns must often be set aside in order to save the ox!  She mentioned it from time to time.

Health care – the implications of making it available to all – and the implications of continuing our present ‘gated community’ that excludes and denies access, are every bit as profound as issues of just and unjust warring.

Many of the same consequences are involved: suffering, life, death, inability to function within ones community, loss of essential resources such as security of home.

Lack of timely and affordable health care is not as “noisily destructive” as is war. No bombs, no whole-sections-of-cities set afire.  Like much individual American war experience, (those not sent), death and destruction from this battle ‘happens somewhere else”.

Brutality created by lack of universal health care is quiet, private. People go bankrupt, become deathly ill and debilitated from preventable and curable conditions. People die.  The ill, the injured, peel away from our communities one by one rather than in a group, as would be the case in a real war scenario.  Survivors may or may not lose what financial resources and material security they had prior to another’s hospitalization and expensive treatment.

We don’t hear, we remain unaware.  Those involved scarcely make a peep during the process — so occupied are they with a private ‘ox in well’ experience.

Out of site, out of mind, for the rest of us – even, (in this case), when the brutality is within our very borders.

Battle between Davids and Goliaths, fought on strictly economic grounds, with arsenal resources measured in available funds for lobby and advertising, is “deathly quiet”.

Offered here are a few current web links in support of an American Public Health Care Plan and/or universal coverage across the United States of America.  One contributes findings on San Francisco’s “coverage for all policy” ;  the remainder are drawn from religious community websites.  (formatting with quotes, links, and ‘justification’ something of a mess — will have to stand as is for time being!)


Comprehensive, statistical, report on the city of San Francisco’s “contained within the city” move to assure coverage for all. Statistics including user satisfaction survey results, costs to users, user costs compared to likely alternative for-profit user costs, and more …                                             


Voices raised by the faith community within the United States. Many are from regions and voices of my personal heritage, that region described as “Heartland”.

I present these to inform those of us ‘outside” this community on what is going on “inside”.  Also, readers may be of the faith community, and not yet involved.  Interested individuals may find a group perspective and initiative linked here that is personally meaningful to them:

(An aside note that probably doesn’t need to be included, but I may never mention it otherwise in any post. : I am not sure I understand common usage of the “people of faith” phrase. It sometimes seems used from an “us/them” perspective which has never made sense to me … but that is a different discussion topic, one I am not likely to pursue. I accept that members of religions, churches, and denominations find the phrase useful in some way. I am happy to report that in scanning the websites offered below, I did not find “fear of” or “fear for” those of us classed as “outside”  the faith community!)

United Unitarian: Rev. Peter Morales: Letter: Principles of Compassion, Principles of Democracy

United Church of Christ: Site includes several side-bar links on health care: “The UCC, in partnership with a large and diverse interfaith coalition … church leaders have called upon local congregations “to actively work towards the creation of a national health care system and to affirm the moral and justice imperatives of equal access for all people.”

Episcopal Church: “Episcopal Church OnLine”: (excerpt from lead of article describing initiatives underway) “Leaders of some U.S. faith groups — including The Episcopal Church — believe that somewhere in the shadows behind the voices condemning President Barack Obama’s administration and other backers of affordable health care reform lurks a silent majority of Christians who support reforming the nation’s healthcare system.”                                                             

Multi-Faith Initiative: : Visit all links on this site to learn of the multi-faith “40 Days For Health Reform” Initiative: “40 Days for Health Reform is an effort from the faith community to make clear to Congress that quality, affordable health care for every American family is a moral priority for millions of people of faith.” (quote from a page within site). …. “As the health care reform debate spreads to town halls and public events across the country, you can make an impact by telling your Senators and Representatives that quality, affordable healthcare is a moral issue for people of faith. You and your congregation can bring a unique moral witness to a discussion that is being disrupted by fear and special interests. Here are some links to information that can help you make a difference. “ (quote from ‘learn more’ page within site; more links available on that page)

United Methodist: Link to a page of articles by members on health care, (one below the other sequenced by date). Top placed article explores mixed concerns in member thoughts; article directly beneath is titled:  “Facing the Facts: Death as a US Social Disease”                  

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America : “The ELCA social statement on economic life, Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, calls for “addressing the barriers individuals face in preparing for and sustaining a livelihood (such as lack of…health care).” It also calls for “public policies that ensure adequate social security, unemployment insurance, and health care coverage.” — (My note: “Sufficient, Sustainable, Livelihood for All” is a lengthy and comprehensive touchstone mission statement for the church, with a global view. In development of health care, the mission statement is used as base-line understanding and rationale of mission.)

Reform Judaism : “The time has come for you to pass real health reform that guarantees access to quality affordable health coverage to all. The cost of continued delay is unsustainable.”           (A petition site, quote excerpted from petition initiative – letter to elected members of  Congress)                                               

Multi-faith within Illinois (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Others): “The Faith Caucus, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other traditions, pulls from across the state of Illinois to assert the moral imperative of health care for all.” … “As people of faith, we envision a society where each person is afforded health, wholeness, and human dignity. That vision embraces a system of health care that is inclusive, accessible, affordable, and accountable.”

Multi-faith event in Kansas City (various Protestant denominations, Jewish, Buddhist, … ): Article in Kansas City Star by staffer Michael Manser shares faith leadership comments on ‘socialism’ : “In this debate, I am simply asking America to care,” said the Rev. Eric Williams, pastor of Calvary Baptist Temple in Kansas City. … Williams and other panel members said the debate has been too much about misinformation and fear, such as linking health care reform with socialism. … “Call it what you want, but let’s get something done,” Williams said.: … “Rabbi Alan Cohen, …, and the Rev. Heather Entrekin of Prairie Baptist Church … said use of the “socialism” label has been calculated to cause fear and stifle debate.” … “Our own military has socialized medicine, and it works great,” said Lama Chuck Stanford of the Rime Buddhist Center. “Why can’t we have that?” …      (entire article

Mennonite Central Committee: “And Many Were Healed: Health Care for All : The statistics are shocking and shameful. Half of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are a result of health-related bills. We are the only industrialized nation not to have some form of universal health care. Currently, 47 million Americans lack health insurance. Another 16 million are underinsured. Heart-wrenching stories in the news illustrate the cracks in the system – a child dies from an abscess tooth; a young woman dies from a treatable chronic illness. ..The system is broken.”              


There will be many more websites and links to be found by anyone interested. Each link here often leads to many more, and also to health care related pages within sites.

My interest in exploirng ‘faith on health care sites was to learn what is being thought, said, and done within this part of the American population, especially in light of our claim to being “one of the most religious countries in the world.”

It is heartening to know there is so much dialogue and also initiative from these members of our population. Personally, early on, well over a year ago, I made efforts to spark local church interest in a moral imperative to support universal care. (I am not a member of any church, and do not attend.) I was disappointed to experience more of that “silence” which can seem so common – no response at all!

To Our Health and Well-being, May Health and Well Arrive if they be Absent, and Once Established, May they Continue! -MaggieAnn


About maggieannthoeni

A description once given of me was "rooted in the earth while roaming the stars" - and this has felt 'right'. I believe in something akin to this for each of us. I am a passionate supporter of discovering the autonomous self while serving the whole as primary intent. I believe in discovery of innate principles, clearing the overlay of socialization that obscures this from us. I believe it is our responsibility to leave no one behind - most particularly to respond to suffering as best we can whereever we find it, whenever we are made aware. I believe in this for the insect as well as the most magnificent form of humanity. I believe in brother/sisterhood without boundary. I believe in righteous indignation when it is appropriate, but do not believe in an enemy. I believe in consciousness, in intelligence, in logic, in rationality, in emotion, in transcendence - and am convinced until we generally practice explore and honor all this in ourselves, we remain profoundly immature. (I believe real maturity is known and practiced by many young children, and not enough adults!)
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