Pastor Hale talks Affordable Healthcare
I am a faith leader. My job is to develop and provide a God-inspired moral compass that helps my congregants, community and colleagues live healthy, healing, responsible lives. I am called to serve, teach and provide a daily, prayerful example, of what is fair and equitable….and right. The aspect of my ministry that allows me to bring healing to my community is what I enjoy the most. Ray of Hope Christian Church has endeavored to be a place of health and healing in this community, particularly through our Hope through Health Clinic for the past 11 years.
I have become aware of the response in our community to the Affordable Care Act and new, quality health insurance programs now available to all. I am concerned that many of us are not taking advantage of a reformed healthcare system that has been historically seeded in inequitable access for millions. I am perplexed when I speak to people who still are not aware that they are now entitled to unprecedented healthcare benefits like prescription drugs, preventive care, and insurance acceptance no matter their pre-existing condition. Though as a congregation, we have tried to do our part, now access to affordable healthcare has been made available far and wide, nationally, and still….we are not moved.
Recently, Get Covered America and Operation Hope hosted a Health Insurance Marketplace event that was marketed heavily to the local African American community. They were out in full force with information about financial assistance, presentations that described each new benefit, and licensed, in-person assisters who know every plan inside-out. And though I am pleased with the 40 plus people who walked away with new health insurance coverage, I am also disheartened that more people did not show up to explore their new right.
We talk a lot about civil rights, we pray and fight for them. But we are not moved when they come? Are we so uncomfortable with fairness that we don’t see it and seize it when it arrives? Education, housing, and healthcare are the pinnacles of our mission here, and access to healthcare is a civil right we embrace. You must embrace it, too.
If you were sitting in my congregation today, I would invite you to embrace your right to affordable healthcare insurance. I would tell you to protect yourself from the vulnerabilities that inevitably come to each of us. I would implore you to not let this opportunity pass you by, and I would beg you to seize your civil right – one for which we’ve prayed, marched and fought.
You don’t have to be a Ray of Hope congregate to take advantage of our ministries, resources, or healthcare programs. But you do have to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace to secure your healthy selves and fulfill the promise of a basic, civil equality that was not always ours for the taking – until now.
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale
Ray of Hope Christian Church
2778 Snapfinger Road
Decatur, Georgia 30084
New Era Missionary offers healthcare summit
Greater Fellowship Baptist Church, 3600 Midway Road, Decatur, will host a healthcare summit to register and inform the community on the Affordable Healthcare Act before the March 31 deadline.
The free summit will be held on Saturday, March 29, 10 a.m. and is sponsored by Arthur Carson and the New Era Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia. Officials will be on hand to sign up attendees.