July 24, 2009

Health Care Reform

Next week I will attend the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana. This will be my fifth assembly.

One feature of these assemblies is debating and voting on resolutions concerning a variety of issues. Only once have I ever approached a microphone during debate to voice an opinion on one of these resolutions. It was during the 1999 General Assembly in Cincinnati, and the resolution concerned health care.

If I remember correctly, there were actually two assembly resolutions concerning health care that year. One encouraged Disciples congregations to support the church-wide health care. I believe this is the resolution I addressed. I said to the assembly that my church did not participate in the church-wide health care, which cost twice as much as other health care plans that were available to a young minister like myself. To participate in the church-wide health care program would have increased my compensation package to a degree that my small congregation would no longer be able to afford a pastor. I mentioned that this was just one example of the inequalities in our current health care system, in which only the rich could afford quality health care, and that we needed a bigger solution. I then referred to the other health care resolution, which concerned "health care for all," and which encouraged Disciples members to support government health care reform.

It's now ten years later, and health care reform is being talked about in Washington. So it is with interest that I read our General Minister & President Sharon Watkins' recent letter to the church on health care reform. Check it out here.

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