calendar January 28, 2010 in News

Lutherans join faith groups urging healthcare reform

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has joined with other faith groups and leaders in writing to President Obama and members of Congress urging completion of comprehensive healthcare reform.

"Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their homes, thousands who would otherwise live will die, and countless people will continue to go without needed care if Congress does not pass health reform," said a Jan. 27 letter to the president signed by 23 leaders including Rev. Andrew D. Genszler, ELCA director of advocacy.

"Too many people in our congregations and communities have waited too long for quality, affordable health care. We cannot let them down," the leaders wrote in the letter, referenced on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website.  Signers included leaders of the National Council of Churches, Evangelicals for Social Action, National Baptist Convention, United Methodist Church, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Hindu American Seva Charities, Sojourners, and others.

A day earlier, 56 faith organizations, including the ELCA, sent a letter to members of Congress asking them to "take heart and move meaningful health care reform forward."

"The ELCA and its predecessor (church) bodies have been advocating for health care reform for decades," said Robert D. Francis, director for domestic policy issues, ELCA Washington Office.  "This is the closest we’ve come to comprehensive reform, certainly in my lifetime, and it’s crucial that Congress not walk away at the 11th hour."

You can read the full text of the letter and learn how to take action by reading the Jan. 27 Advocacy Alert "Critical Time for Health Reform/"