Statements from faith leaders

2017 statements from faith leaders in response to the passage of the American Health Care Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4, 2017, in an attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.


Statements from faith leaders throughout the history of health care reform efforts in the U.S.

One of the central public policy questions for U.S. citizens today is whether the richest nation on earth will continue to allow millions of poor people to exist without health insurance.  To do so violates biblical justice.  How can pro-family Christian political voices not demand health insurance for poor families?  How can pro-life Christian political coalitions not insist on decent health care for poor babies after they are born?  How can any Christian read what the Bible says about the poor and what Jesus says about the sick without hearing a divine call to demand that every person in this nation, starting with the poor, have access to health insurance?
— from Just Generosity by Ronald Sider, founder of Evangelicals for Social Action

Health security is an issue that affects all of us.  Every person has a fundamental human right to quality healthcare — healthcare that is affordable, accessible, and compassionate.  As the nation begins to transform the healthcare system to one that is sustainable, it will be important that we, as a society, ensure that healthcare in the U.S. respects the dignity of every person and delivers the quality, compassionate care we expect and deserve.  Meaningful reform will require dialogue, the acceptance of diverse views and above all, compromise.  With the human right of healthcare at stake, all of us must work together to make sure future generations inherit a healthcare system that embraces quality and compassion.
— Catholic Healthcare West’s Perspective, as printed in their Health Security Index, Spring 2007

To be without health insurance in this country means to be without access to medical care. But health is not a luxury, nor should it be the sole possession of a privileged few. We are all created b’tzelem elohim — in the image of God — and this makes each human life as precious as the next. By ‘pricing out’ a portion of this country’s population from health care coverage, we mock the image of God and destroy the vessels of God’s work.
— Rabbi Alexander Schindler, Past President, Union of American Hebrew Congregations [1992]

The health of a society is truly measured by the quality of its concern and care for the health of its members… The right of every individual to adequate health care flows from the sanctity of human life and that dignity belongs to all human beings… We believe that health is a fundamental human right which has as its prerequisites social justice and equality and that it should be equally available and accessible to all.
— Imam Sa’dullah Khan, The Islamic Center of Southern California

Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.
— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every person has the right to adequate health care. This right flows from the sanctity of human life and the dignity that belongs to all persons, who are made in the image of God… Our call for health care reform is rooted in the biblical call to heal the sick and to serve ‘the least of these,’ the priorities of justice and the principle of the common good. The existing patterns of health care in the United Sates do no meet the minimal standard of social justice and the common good.
— Resolution on Health Care Reform, U.S. Catholic Bishops [1993]

From the dawn of human history God has created loving souls and blessed each with the ‘imago dei’ – the very image and likeness of God. By grace God endows those in the health care professions with the means and methods of healing. Only through a just system of health care can Jesus’ promise of life abundant (John 10:10b) be visited upon all persons.
— The Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA [2002]