Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kansas Bishop Jones Restates Church's Belief that HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT

In a bid to caution many mainstream Americans (including Christian ones) from going at each other’s throats on health care, the Kansas Area Bishop for the United Methodist Church felt called to circulate the following statement asking peoples to not use nor misuse the issue of “Health Care” and recent legislation to perpetuate a greater cultural divide.

The Bishop, Scott Jones, emphasized in a church circular that the church has been unified on the matter of health care actually being a human right for a long long time–for centuries–althought, the Church had made this specifically clear in 1999.

Read the full statement circulated in churches last weekend (below).


Kansas Area Bishop Scott Jones released the following statement March 22, 2010 regarding the United Methodist Church’s role in the passage of health care reform over the weekend. Please feel free to share these remarks.

Bishop Scott Jones’ statement:

The United Methodist Church has had a concern for health care for more than 250 years. We have founded medical clinics, hospitals and medical schools. We have delivered health care to the poor. We have a long history of advocating for public health practices such as reducing use of tobacco and alcohol. We believe that God seeks the best for all people, including their health.

Many current health care issues are complicated, and yet we have a consistent position seeking care for all. The Social Principles urges all persons to pursue a healthy lifestyle. It also says that “Health care is a basic human right” and “We believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care.” In 2008 the General Conference adopted Resolution 3201 “Health Care for All in the United States”


Based on this resolution, the General Board of Church and Society worked for health care reform without endorsing any particular bill. I believe that the General Board worked for the principles contained in our church’s teaching.

Many faithful and loyal United Methodists disagree with this particular legislation. While believing that health care for all is important, they think there are better ways of achieving that important goal than the ones contained in this legislation. Some of our United Methodist members of Congress voted against this legislation while others voted for it. It is quite appropriate that we have a diversity of opinion about the best ways to achieve a better society for all God’s children. Two related issues are important here.

One should remember that George W. Bush, George McGovern, Robert Dole and Hillary Clinton have all been faithful United Methodist Christians who served their country in the political arena. At various times, different parts of our church have been angry with different ones of these persons, but I am proud to serve a church that includes such great leaders as these.

Second, we are people of the extreme center who should resist polarizing and demonizing influences in our culture. We should be talking about issues faithfully and carefully with mutual respect for those who disagree with us. God expects us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and the way we carry out our political activities should reflect that kind of love for all.



Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

LIKE RALPH NADER, I am only a bit happy with the Health Care Legislation.

Here is what Ralph Nader and a lot of good Progresssives are noting.

If you listen to the Democrats, you would think that they were fighting on the side of the American people.

And against the health insurance companies.

Or as Howard Dean put it last week:

"This is a vote about one thing: Are you for the insurance companies or are you for the American people?"

President Obama said that he and the Democrats had pushed back against the "special interests."

In fact, the bill that was passed by the House Sunday night was a result of a deal President Obama and the Democrats cut last year with the pharmaceutical industry.

And it was written with the help of former insurance industry lobbyists.

Or as the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne put it - the Democrats are fighting for a Republican health plan.

Last year, former CIGNA executive turned whistleblower Wendell Potter called the bill "a joke" and "an absolute gift to the insurance industry."

Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program called the bill "a step backwards."

"This bill further enriches the industries that are the problem," Dr. Flowers said.

Chris Hedges put it this way:

"This bill is not about fiscal responsibility or the common good."

"The bill is about increasing corporate profit at taxpayer expense," Hedges wrote.

"It lavishes hundreds of billions in government subsidies on insurance and drug companies."

"The some 3,000 (corporate) lobbyists in Washington, whose dirty little hands are all over the bill, have once more betrayed the American people for money."

"The bill is another example of why change will never come from within the Democratic Party. The party is owned and managed by corporations."

"What is the point in supporting any of the Democrats?" Hedges asked. "How much more craven can they get?"

For the past year, all around the country, Single Payer Action has been confronting and exposing the craven corporate Democrats.

Just last week, Single Payer Action directly confronted Howard Dean on Capitol Hill about Dean's lobbying for his biotech industry clients - lobbying that resulted in a multi-billion dollar patent windfall tucked neatly into the health care bill that Congress just passed.

And Single Payer Action will continue to expose, confront, agitate and organize for single payer Medicare for all.


Because as Dr. Marcia Angell - former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine - puts it - single payer is the only health care reform that covers everyone and controls costs.

Because most of the health insurance coverage mandated by the Democratic bill does not come into effect until 2014 - by which time 180,000 Americans will have died because they were unable to afford health insurance to cover treatment and diagnosis, according to Harvard Medical School researchers.

Because the main saving grace of the Democratic bill is that it is so inadequate and so delayed in implementation that the position supported by the majority of people, physicians and nurses - single payer full Medicare for all - will have abundant opportunities to build around the country.

And because the ever spiraling price hikes by the insurance industry are sure to spur the single payer movement to new popularity.

6:16 PM  

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