Beloved in Christ Jesus:
In the Bible, there is a long history of God’s call and people’s response. “Moses!” God called from the burning bush and Moses answered, “Here I am.” “Samuel,” God called in the night. “Speak, your servant is listening,” young Samuel answered. “Who shall I send?” God asked in worship, and Isaiah spoke up, “Here I am, Lord, send me.” When God’s messenger visited Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ replied, “Here I am.”
I am convinced that God is calling me and you to respond to a critical need.
The Problem: Right now in Ohio, an estimated 1.5 million adults do not have health insurance. Most are adults who work, many of them as health care providers for others who have health insurance even though they themselves do not. Some of the uninsured are mentally ill and cannot work. All are beloved children of God.
A Solution: Ohio Governor John Kasich has introduced a budget that would extend Medicaid to cover uninsured adults who earn less than $15,415 a year (below 138% of poverty.)
- Extending Medicaid is good for our neighbors and good for Ohio.
- Extending Medicaid will bring $13 billion in Ohioans’ federal taxes paid back to Ohio over the next seven years.
- Healthy people can do meaningful work.
- Healthy adults provide better environments for children.
- Extending Medicaid rebuilds community mental health services, providing hope for persons who today cycle in and out of jail, when really what they need is mental health services.
Action is Urgent: The Governor's budget is currently under consideration in the Ohio General Assembly. In every district, Ohio Representatives need to hear from people of faith in support of Medicaid expansion. The time frame is immediate. The House, which currently is leaning against expansion, will vote whether to expand or not around Easter.
Please act today:
The Ohio Council of Churches has partnered with Advocates for Ohio’s Future to host a sign-on letter of support from people within the faith community. Please go to this link Advocates for Ohio Sign-up to read the letter and submit your electronic signature.
- Call or email your representative: www.ohiohouse.gov
- Attend a press conference in the George Washington Room at the Statehouse on Tuesday, March 5 at 11:00 am and join me as I join other faith leaders to publicly support the Governor’s courageous plan to support Medicaid expansion. Clergy are encouraged to wear either a clergy collar or a stole.
- Attend the Ohio Council of Churches Advocacy Day on March 20 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Learn more and visit your Ohio Representatives. To register, please go to www.ohcouncilchs.org
The United Methodist Church has consistently through the actions of the General Conference called for access to healthcare for all. God calls, and we, as people of faith, are invited to respond. Now is the time to answer God’s call -- to stand beside people who are in need, to join our voices with those of our most vulnerable neighbors, to tell our law makers to vote ‘yes’ for Medicaid Expansion, and to provide basic health care for the citizens in Ohio. I am inviting you to stand with me and make your voice heard on behalf of our neighbors, God’s beloved children.
Your servant through Jesus Christ,
+Gregory V. Palmer
Ohio West Area, The United Methodist Church