Friday, August 14, 2009

Leader of the Presbyterian Church (USA): "Reforming our health care system cannot wait"

The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), has issued the following statement in light of the national attention on health care reform:

The current public debate about health care has led several people to ask what the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has said about this issue.

The 218th General Assembly (2008) directed the Stated Clerk to send the following resolution to appropriate committee chairs in the United States Congress:

Jesus Christ, who has reconciled us to God, healed all kinds of sickness (Mt. 4:23, par) as a sign of God's rule. Isaiah speaks God's word to say "No more shall there be ... an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime" (Isa. 65:20a). We, as Reformed Christians, bear witness to Jesus Christ in word, but also in deed. As followers of our Great Physician Jesus, we have a moral imperative to work to assure that everyone has full access to health care. . . .

To read the rest of this resolution, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Since the publication of this resolution, the nation has been engaged in an escalating polarization on the issue. Consensus seems far off and the details of how to reach the goal of comprehensive health care continue to confound our country. Yet, consensus as a nation is imperative because reforming our health care system cannot wait. The General Assembly has been clear that Congress must enact comprehensive health care reform that will provide all persons with access to health care services.

I am mindful of a portion of a prayer Peter Marshall prayed in 1947 when he was chaplain of the Senate. "We know deep down in our hearts that without Thy guidance we can do nothing, but with Thee we can do all things. Let us not be frightened by the problems that confront us, but rather give Thee thanks that Thou hast matched us with this hour. May we resolve, God helping us, to be part of the answer, and not part of the problem; for Jesus' sake. Amen."

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