Healthcare...why it matters

I was 42 and found myself at a cross roads.  For some crazy, wonderful reason, God was calling me to ministry.  But the implications of it all were a bit overwhelming.  I was the breadwinner of our family of 6.  We had just purchased a home a year earlier, but now would have to move into a church owned parsonage and I was about to begin seminary!

While we had a home and utilities covered by the congregation I was appointed to serve, my salary was 1/5 what it had been the year before, and my 4 children needed health care.  Never in my life had I thought I would need to go on Medicaid, but it was the safety net we needed for the 4 years I was in seminary responding to God's call to serve the Church as a United Methodist pastor.

As the debate heats up in Washington over healthcare, I implore you to remember the hard working families who are the most vulnerable.  So many families are one ER visit or trauma incident away from financial ruin.  Thats not poor planning, thats just their reality.

As people of faith we have the story of the Good Samaritan as an example of Jesus' teachings around healthcare:

A man was left for dead on the side of the road.  A rabbi, levite and other 'good' people walked by - we don't know why, but they did.  Along came a samaritan, he bound up his wounds, helped the man onto his horse and took him to an inn.  He paid for his healthcare and promised to return to settle up if there were any other needs he would have until he was able to continue on his journey.  Luke 10:25-37

The important thing, to me, about the story of the Good Samaritan is that Jesus told this story in response to the question: "what must I do to gain eternal life?"

Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?”

He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”

But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  Follow this link for the rest of the story.

Today, the most neighborly thing you may do is to call your Senator, use your voice to advocate for your neighbor next door, as well as your neighbor who lives across the country.  Their lives depend on each of us speaking up and joining together to offer hope.

To follow is a letter I received from the General Board of Church and Society.  While the phone number is for West Virginia's Senator Capito, the instructions may be used to call any of our Senators.  There's even a script for you to use - I used it yesterday!

Your voice matters!

Oh, and thank you for providing the safety net my family needed so that we could live into God's call and claim on our lives.

in Christ, together,


The debate over the American health care system gets at the heart of who we are as United Methodists and Christians.

Will we care for each other? Or will we ignore the needs of our neighbors? Are we the Good Samaritan? Or are we the religious leaders who crossed the road? 

This is the choice before us.

One of your senators, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is among a handful of lawmakers who will decide whether a health care bill is passed in the Senate. 

The bill was announced this morning, and it’s moving fast. Your action now is critical. We are hearing that they hope to vote on the bill by Tuesday. 

Call your senator now. As she decides whether to vote for the bill or not, make sure she hears about your health care values.

Dial (202) 224-6472. Let the person who answers know your name and where you live. Tell them that West Virginia should be providing health care for more people, not fewer.

Sen. Capito needs to hear directly from her constituents. I can’t do this, you have to. 

Here’s a script of what to say: 

Hi. My name is ______________, and I’m a constituent from ____________.

I’m concerned about the Senate health care bill. I urge Senator Capito to oppose any legislation that caps Medicaid or rolls back the Medicaid expansion. As a United Methodist, I believe that God wants us to care for each other. And what we need now is more health care, not less. Please tell the senator to do everything she can to increase access to high-quality, affordable health care and to preserve Medicaid. Thank you. 

It really is that simple.

After you’ve called, will you also post on Facebook and Twitter that you’ve called? Here's a sample tweet:

Just called @sencapito and asked her to increase access to high-quality, affordable health care and to save Medicaid. #SaveMedicaid #UMC

And here is a Facebook post you can share. 

Deborah, this bill is moving fast and Sen. Capito needs to hear from you immediately. 

Please call. 

I’ll be praying for you, for Sen. Capito and for the United States as we work to transform the world into one where all people have access to affordable health care.  

Susan Henery-Crowe
Susan Henry-Crowe


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