Monday, April 1, 2013

What are the Religious Communities doing in your State Re Medicaid Expansion? Information Bulletin # 377 (4/2013) Have the various religious communities in your State taken a public position with regards to Medicaid expansion for residents whose incomes are less than 138% of the federal poverty level? Last week in Pennsylvania, 1,350 Roman Catholic nuns, priests, and brothers, representing 19 different religious congregations, were individually identified, by name and religious affiliation, in a letter written to the Pennsylvania Governor in which they urged him to accept federal Medicaid funds to expand coverage to nearly 700,000 residents who lack coverage. These religious leaders noted that their “faith, tradition and justice teaching call us to advocate for the right of all human beings to have access to the basic necessities that enable them to live productive lives with dignity. Among those is the right to affordable health care.” They stated that a failure to accept these funds by the Governor would “breach the moral duty to those who are on the margins of society.” They requested a meeting with the Governor. These leaders pointed out the health benefits, cost savings on uncompensated care to hospitals, and economic stimulus which will occur with the Medicaid expansion. These religious leaders concluded that their “faith calls us to respond to the needs of the disabled, the impoverished, and the downtrodden. The Medicaid expansion is an unparalleled opportunity to provide affordable health insurance for uninsured Pennsylvanians.” In every State there are coalitions of religious congregations – Protestant, Evangelical, Jewish, Catholic, and others. Have they taken a public position regarding Medicaid expansion? Have they written to the Governor and state legislators? Have you asked them to? What have they done in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kansas and Utah? Surely there are religious leaders and coalitions who recognize Medicaid expansion as a “moral duty.” Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online at with a searchable Archive at this site divided into different subjects. Information Bulletins will also be posted on my blog located at To contact Steve Gold directly, write to or call 215-627-7100. Ext 227.

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