The Health care conversation has been a tried and true fabric in our American society for the last two decades. Just this past week the conversation took a large turn, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act that introduces drastic cuts to Medicaid and effects hundreds with pre-existing conditions. While the bill ensures that every one of every pre-existing condition is able to be covered, under a new amendment insurance plans can be sold to those with pre-existing conditions for a much higher cost (USA Today). Some of those pre-existing conditions that may find much higher costs in health care are specifically experienced by women, such as heart disease, breast or ovarian cancer, c-sections, or pregnancy (Bustle) (New York Times).
As Church Women United, we advocate for the full health of women across our nation, and the ability for every family to be cared for. For our inspiration, we turn to Jesus’ own lived example as found in Matthew 9:35:
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.
Or Matthew 11: 28-29
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Church Women United has since its long inception lived into the spirit of Christ’s lived example, advocating for the health and healing of families across the United States. We have made several public social policies advocating for the health and wellness of our nation’s citizen, especially those already sick, disabled, or poor.
Take a look at one of our first resolutions as an organization, which sounds eerily as if it could be said today as it was in 1946.
Better Health Care for All:
Better health care for all Americans is a social goal to which church women will respond warmly. In spire of the magnificent achievements of medical science, large sections of our population still cannot secure adequate medical care, either because of poor facilities or because of the inability to meets the costs. Sickness and accidents are a major cause of family insecurity. The burden of poor health falls heavily on the lower income and minority groups and on mothers and little children.
We, therefore, recommend that a major area of study and Christian social action for church women during the coming year be the problem of securing better health care for all citizens.
Specifically we propose:
1. Extensive study and round table discussion by church women of current legislative proposals on health now before Congress. Chief of these is the National health Bill (S.1606) which outlines a comprehensive health program based on a system of public health insurance. This measure contains the major provisions of the Maternal and Child Health Bill (S.1318) which has already been endorsed by the National Board of the UCCW.
2. Preparation of a carefully planned statement of health to be presented for adoption at the Biennial Assembly of the UCCW.
To give you an example even more relevant to the debates today, we can go back to a social policy voted on by Church Women in 1991, about Universal Access to Health Care. During this time, we have records of our organization working closely with other interfaith organizations and with then first lady Hillary Clinton in promoting the healthcare laws that would insure all children across our country, that has been kept in place since the mid nineties. Below is our social policy on Universal Access to Health Care.