Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health Care Reform: What's Faith Got to Do With It?

I'm pretty confident that anyone reading this blog knows I spend lots of time on Twitter. What you might not know is that on Twitter I'm as engaged in conversations about healthcare communications as I am in ones about faith. Those worlds are now colliding on a regular basis.

While I'm trying to feel thrilled about these two passions coming together, I mostly have a headache. How can so many decent and compassionate Christians be so woefully out-of-touch with what and who we are called to be as God's people? I'll have more to say about the concept of "preferential option" in another post. Until then, here are some resources worth reviewing for background.

To get started, check out Health Care Reform Explained from the Back of the Napkin Blog, a delightfully smart way to sort through this stuff. (H/T to Bob Coffield, who writes Health Care Law Blog).

The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a way to review major comprehensive proposals for healthcare reform. Thanks to the power and glory of technology, you can compare proposals across key characteristics and plan components. You also have the option of downloading a printable version: Side-by-Side Comparison of Major Health Care Reform Proposals

Faithful Reform in Health Care is an independent nonprofit organization taking on the considerable challenge of articulating and advancing a faith-based agenda for health care reform. Put more simply: enough with the ecumenical and interfaith squabbling -- let's stand on common holy ground. If you read nothing else on this site, at least check out the Theology and Policy material, which includes statements from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic organizations.

I recommend using Father Austin Fleming's fine blog, A Concord Pastor as a portal to find out what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has to say about Health Care Reform. My current favorite piece linking Catholic social teachings and health care reform is by Sara Criger, CEO of St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota: "Stakes too high not to reform health care system".

At their recent General Convention, the Episcopal Church passed a resolution about Health Care Coverage for All and has also put together the Health Care For All Discussion Guide, an excellent resource explaining why health policy is a Christian concern.

Back in 2003, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) issued Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor, which includes this wise observation: "Fear and self-interest defeat social justice in the political processes of health care reform."

To be continued . . . maybe tomorrow . . . after the pain meds kick in . . .


  1. Thank you for this most comprehensive round up of great links.

    Be well dear Meredith, prayers for you always.


  2. Glad you appreciate the round up. There's way too much mis-information floating around. If I wasn't already persuaded that folks weren't actually reading these documents, the latest round of fear mongering about "death panels" convinced me.

    I've been seeking comfort in the Colbert Report!

  3. There is a litany of great links on this blog post... thanks for bringing them all togehter (and yes you are correct - I found this through twitter!)

    Cnn (although they've embraced a more mainstream and popular trend) had a nice commentary piece that I tweeted yesterday regarding what would happen if we dont get reform.... it was well thoughout


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