History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
As many of you know, the 2013 NC legislature declined to accept medicaid expansion for 500,000 North Carolinians. It is estimated that this denial of health insurance for the poorest among us will result in more than 2,000 deaths each year in our state.
The prophet Amos reminds us that God does not care about our religious celebrations but is concerned that we let justice and fairness flow like a river. Do we measure up to God’s requirements when we allow our leaders to deny health care to our brothers and sisters while we sit mum on the sidelines? In Proverbs 31, God calls us to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” And then the great commandment calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Would we like to have health insurance denied to us? Can we show love to our neighbor by letting our leaders know that denying health insurance to the poor is wrong?
As people of faith how can we be silent while our sisters and brothers die from lack of health insurance that our legislators declined to accept. Will your church join the effort of Health Care For All NC and pass a resolution supporting Medicaid expansion, and then send this resolution to the legislature with follow up calls to individual representatives and senators by church members supporting the expansion? Can we speak for those with no voice?
Most denominations have statements calling for universal health coverage. If you are interested in what your denomination says, this summary was prepared by Rev. Rollin Russell, former president of the NC Council of Churches.
You can see an article with a link to a sample resolution here. Your congregation can modify the resolution as you choose. There are lots of other reasons to expand Medicaid — like providing 25,000 jobs in NC and holding onto NC tax dollars.
Providing life-saving health insurance to our sisters and brothers is a Christian calling, and we cannot sit idly by and ignore this denial. Help your church pass a resolution and share your faith with our leaders. Let your voice speak for justice and fairness.
If your congregation needs help, call on Bill Murray (with Health Care for All NC) at 919-240-7924 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Sandy Irving at email@example.com. For information on Affordable Care Act, go here.