Resolution to The Central States Synod Assembly
Presented by Gethsemane Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Missouri
Statements viewing access to adequate health care as issues of faith and justice, were issued by assemblies of the Lutheran Church in America in 1978 and the American Lutheran Church in 1982. A 1989 ELCA church wide assembly reaffirmed those decisions: "The positions of the predecessor church bodies in favor of access to quality health care for everyone, regardless of income, urging Congress, and encouraging members and congregations to work toward passage of appropriate national health care legislation."
The 1999 Church-wide Assembly continued its concern for health care by directing the Division for Church in Society to develop a Social Statement on Health and Health Care to be presented at 2003 Church-wide Assembly.
In 1999, ELCA representatives joined with representatives of the 35 member communions of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA to acknowledge that Christians are called to be concerned and take action at this time because,
"Current availability of health care to all people in the United States has been drastically reduced by changes in the private sector organization, financing and delivery of health care..."
"The direct result of these changes is that more than 43 million Americans have no health care insurance coverage. Perhaps more than 100 million people experience serious barriers to access."
The 1999 NCCC General Assembly statement went further to:
"Commend to its member communions a renewed faith community action campaign for comprehensive universal health care with democratic principles to which we have been historically committed, a campaign consisting of public education and action focused at the congregation and community level in cooperation with a larger coalition seeking to put this issue back on the national agenda."
"The assembly took action to aid a ‘renewed faith community action campaign for comprehensive universal health care’ by joining with the Universal Health Care Action Network and the Gray Panthers to launch U2K, the Universal Health Care 2000 Campaign, whose goal is universal health care that is affordable, accessible, comprehensive, high quality and publicly accountable. The U2K leadership, including clergy from NCCC member communions, offers resources and coordination to aid in congregational education, community cooperation and action to place universal health care on the national agenda."
The U2K Campaign is a non-partisan educational campaign with non-profit status. The campaign will not endorse a particular universal health care plan nor any candidate for any public office.
Therefore, be it resolved,