After the Health Care Summit: A Question about Moral Commitment

~ by Rev. Linda Hanna Walling, Faithful Reform in Health Care

Finally… toward the end of the Summit… the heart of the issue was raised when President Obama noted that we as a society have to decide whether we think everyone should have needed health care — or not!  He continued by saying that if we don’t want to leave people out, then we have to figure out how to pay for it.  It is clear that voices of faith are needed more than ever!

People of faith have been saying throughout this debate that YES, EVERYONE should be included. AND we’ve been saying that we believe we are blessed with the abundant resources, wisdom, and talent to do it.  What we lack are the moral vision, and the political will to act on it.  Yes, it is clear that our voices of faith are needed more than ever!

We are called at all times to make people’s needs and the common good a priority for our life together. That the President even has to ask whether we really want to include everyone in our health care system suggests that we have not yet arrived at agreement on the priority of health care for all.  That ambivalence underlies every other part of the debate. In the absence of that commitment we argue about who should/should not be covered; how generous the benefits should be; who should pay for it, and who should be in charge.  And with every compromise and every amendment, we exclude more and more people. Yes, our voices are needed more than ever!

In these days, one of our important tasks is that of transformation — changing hearts and minds on behalf of the common good.  We can begin that process by recommitting to raising our voices — beginning with praying today and in the days to come for our country and our lawmakers. May our prayers call for renewed commitment to health, wholeness, and human dignity, and reflect a special concern for those who struggle the most.

We may begin this transformation with a commitment to prayer and with words adapted from a prayer offered by the Justice Coordinating Team of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas:  “Loving and gracious God, we remember that your plan for us is fullness of life, lived with love, mercy and justice. Be with us and our whole nation as we work together in reforming healthcare delivery and financing throughout our country. Help us design a system that will be fair for everyone. Let our work be rooted in respect for life and human dignity and in Your special concern for people who are economically poor. Enable each person to take responsibility for the gift of health You give us. Throughout the debate and deliberations, strengthen our gifts of insight, courage and respect for others’ views. Teach us prudence, patience, and gracious determination. Grant us the generosity needed to embrace the changes reform will bring. Amen.” (from Vision and Voice: Faithful Citizens and Health Care)

Visit the Faithful Reform in Health Care website for more prayers along the way.

And then… following your time of prayer… take action!  Let your lawmakers know that YES everyone should have needed health care!

Send a letter to the President and Congress today.


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