As communities of faith who have worked for decades to fix our broken health care system, we write to thank you for your recent vote in favor of health care reform legislation.
Opportunities to comprehensively address our broken health care system are rare. Decades of failed attempts at reform testify to the difficulty of this task, and we know that this most recent effort was certainly not easy. This backdrop makes your vote all the more laudable and historic.
While no one will claim that the law is perfect, it represents a historic step forward, especially for millions who are left out and left behind of our current health care system. This law has a host of promising provisions that expand affordable health care coverage to millions of people and establish important consumer protections and benefit guarantees that will help many people.
Over the past year, many people have shared their health care stories with us. While some are happy with their current coverage, many had problems obtaining coverage, affording coverage, or keeping coverage. We all know the statistics – the millions who are uninsured or underinsured, the thousands driven into bankruptcy because of medical debt, and the tens of thousands who die each year for lack of coverage. For us, these statistics are not just numbers – they are people in our churches, temples, synagogues and mosques. Your vote was for them, and we thank you on their behalf.
In a moment that called for political courage, vision, leadership and faith, you took heart and helped make health care reform a reality. We look forward to working with you on the continued improvement of our health care system until we have a system that is truly inclusive, affordable, accessible and accountable.
The Blue Mountain Lotus Society (Buddhist)
International Council of Community Churches
Jewish Women International
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
Metropolitan Community Churches
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society