Health care coverage options must be vigorously pursuedBack-and-forth political clamoring and deeply polarized politics are shaping the conversation that we as Americans are having about health care. As people of faith we have the opportunity to help transform public discourse from bitter partisanship to dialogue around shared values in how we care for one another.
By: Jim Soderberg, Duluth Budgeteer News
Back-and-forth political clamoring and deeply polarized politics are shaping the conversation that we as Americans are having about health care. As people of faith we have the opportunity to help transform public discourse from bitter partisanship to dialogue around shared values in how we care for one another.
Our sacred texts call us to be partners in health and healing by providing care for others and by seeking care for ourselves. Our work to identify and
overcome barriers to and disparities in health care signals our regard for these teachings and our concern for our common humanity.
“The value of human life and the things that make life worth living are fundamental faith principles for those of us who acknowledge a Supreme Creator. Because it is the nature of God to create life, it is our sacred responsibility to nurture and protect one another in this life,” shares Pastor Chris Anttila of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.
Pastor Anttila, along with many others from the CHUM community including clergy, lay people, and service recipients, have been working hard over the last few years to ensure that those living in the margins have access to affordable quality health care. In March they met with decision makers about the implementation of a key component of the Affordable Care Act, the Health Benefit Exchange, to ensure that it reflects the need and interests of our neighbors who have not had access to adequate health care.
With the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, our health care justice work will continue. We will not let up in our work to make sure that all pieces of the ACA — the Health Benefits Exchange, the Basic Health Plan, and Medicaid Expansion — are fully implemented so that all Minnesotans, regardless of income, receive the care they deserve under the ACA.
Minnesota’s Exchange should meet the highest standards for transparency, quality, protections against conflict of interest and ease of use for consumers. Health coverage options for the lowest-income Minnesotans — such as MA expansion and the Basic Health Plan — must be vigorously pursued. The health and well-being of consumers should guide every decision in our state.
As Alexander Schindler, past president of the Union Hebrew Congregations, stated, “but health is not a luxury, nor should it be the sole possession of a privileged few. We are all created b’tzelem elohim — in the image of God — and this makes each human life as precious as the next.” We do this work to make sure our neighbor, wealthy, homeless or otherwise, will be able to receive the health care needed to survive and thrive.
Jim Soderberg is the executive director of CHUM. Contact him at email@example.com or 218-720-6521.