Health and Welfare Sunday, to be held March 10, has special significance this year as the U.S. Congress wrestles with several related issues.
The UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries created a universal health care task force in 2000 to promote discussion and strategic planning on how to achieve affordable, high quality health care for all.
The task force supports the Health Care Access Resolution (HCR 99) introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in April 2001. It directs Congress to establish legislation by October 2004 which will provide comprehensive health care for all Americans.
Congress also must reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Act by Oct. 1, 2002.
This legislation involves the Food Stamp Program and the Child Care and Development Block Grants, three of the most important government programs addressing domestic poverty. The goal of TANF is to help low-income families move out of poverty, not merely move off of welfare.
The UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries asks congregations to help in these ways:
Support HCR99 by endorsing the resolution and by gathering endorsements from others;
Ask your Congressional representatives to support HCR99;
Organize public events on health care issues;
Write letters to local newspaper editors;
Write to your Congressper-sons, asking them to endorse TANF; and
Join the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support March in Washington, D.C., on March 4.