As states have begun to take the lead in health care reform activities, several state groups have produced resouces to help educate members of congregations about the issue in their states. Highlighted here are resources from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas and Wisconsin. Additional resources from states can be found in the Perspectives and Resources/Advocacy sections of this website.
CALIFORNIA - In response to California's place in the nation's growing crisis in health insurance coverage, the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders created a Health Care Task Force "to study this situation, and, ultimately, to speak about it from the perspective of the region's religious conscience." In 2006 two resources were produced to guide the council's continuing education around this issue.
Additional materials from various sources are posted on the website of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry,California (UULMCA). On the website you will find information about Health Access for Californians: Expanding Debate in California’s Faith Communities, a collaborative project between the California Council of Churches and the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. They have published a study guide for use in congregational settings: Being the Good Samaritan: Health access for All Californians.
ILLINOIS - The Faith Caucus of the Campaign for Better Health Care in Illinois produced a Health Care Sabbath manual to help congregations gain a better understanding of the issue. The educational campaign included activities such as a full-page clergy letter in the Springfield paper and a "Sound the Alarm" event in which congregations sounded horns, bells or Shofars 18 times for the 1.8 million uninsured people in Illinois.
MASSACHUSETTS - The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), played a critical role in the successful passage of the Massachusetts legislation. Their recent report "Defining Affordability" is a helpful resource in helping advocates understand what "individual mandates" mean for obtaining health care coverage.
TEXAS - Texas IMPACT is addressing the fact that Texas is "home to a disproportionate share of Americans who have insecure access to health care." Posted on their website is their popular "Do This and You Shall Live" discussion guide and printable fact sheets for use in congregational settings. "Health Care Policy In Your Hands" is under development to help keep activitists informed about the emerging public debate about health care reform.WISCONSIN - Through their Health and Hope Initiative, the Wisconsin Council of Churches produced a study guide, PowerPoint presentations, bulletin inserts, posters and advocacy resources to help members of their member churches more fully understand the health care crisis in Wisconsin and how they could be a part of making change happen. All of the resources are available online.
If you know of additional faith-based educational resources in state campaigns, please let us know!