Health Care for All NC and the NC Council of Churches have received a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The $25,000 grant from the Trust will allow HCFANC and the Council to educate 26 faith-based organizations in communities across North Carolina about the health and economic benefits of Medicaid Expansion.
The project will focus on communities in Tier 1 counties, where access to medical care is threatened by inadequate health insurance coverage. Medicaid Expansion could provide health care coverage to up to 500,000 North Carolinians. Without it, health facilities may close, as has already happened in Belhaven and Louisburg.
“Medicaid Expansion is not only a health and economic issue,” said Jonathan Kotch, MD, President of Health Care for All NC. “It is a moral issue as well. Many major denominations, as well as local congregations, have endorsed universal access to health care as an article of faith.”
HCFANC and the Council will work with churches and other faith-based congregations and organizations across the state to pass HCFANC’s “Faith-based Medicaid Expansion Resolution” and share it with their state Senators, Representatives, and the Governor. To lead this project, a part-time coordinator is being hired to begin work very early in 2016.
HCFANC is a chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. Since 1997 HCFANC has been an advocate for guaranteed access to high quality, affordable health care for all.
The Council has worked for universal health care for decades. A policy statement adopted in 1992 reads in part:
Christian people must be deeply concerned about these deficiencies in health care, especially as they impact the most vulnerable people in our society: the poor, children, people of color, and the elderly. The gospels tell us that Jesus “went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and infirmity among the people” (Matthew 4:23). They also tell of Jesus’ concern for the poor, the children, and those on the margins of society. Thus, healing and health have long been included in the mission of the church. In our day this must involve advocacy for a just and humane health care system.