Health Policy

The Church's mission is advocacy for full and just access to health and human service for all. Bringing forth God’s shalom is justice work that always involves exposing and opposing inequalities and injustices.

Jesus taught that God stands with the poor and the devalued by ministering among, and standing with, “the least of these.” Thus, an essential part of the Church’s commitment to health and human service ministry is advocacy on behalf of those who are oppressed or disadvantaged.

Health Policy Updates

We need a Surgeon General

The United States has been without a Surgeon General for over a year. With broad bipartisan support and support from the health community, Dr. Vivek Murthy, a highly qualified physician, is one vote away from becoming America’s Surgeon General. Unfortunately, like everything else in Washington, his nomination was ground to a halt by obstructions in the Senate. Americans need their top doctor right now especially during the Ebola public health crisis to educate the public, calm fears, and mobilize health care providers. Learn more.

What’s next for Health Care?

Despite the success the Affordable Care ACT (ACA) has shown, many are wondering and concerned about what will happen to “ObamaCare” now that the 2014 elections are over.  Our Minister for Health Care Justice, Barbara Baylor, has some insights. Check out her presentation and learn about 5 issues to watch: PDF | PowerPoint

Health Equity and the Supreme Court Decision on Contraception

The Supreme Court decision giving some corporations the right to deny coverage of certain types of contraception to their employees based on religious freedom will have a great impact on women of color. Although, the ruling does not single out women of color, our political and economic realities tell us that women of color often bear the brunt of the negative impacts of restrictions on women’s health. Learn more.

Gun Violence is a Public Health Threat

The United Church of Christ is part of a coalition of 50 religious denominations and faith-based organizations around the country who support gun violence reform. We need a surgeon general who will address death and injuries caused by guns. Learn more about gun violence as a public health issue

HIV is Not a Crime!

Call on Congress to pass the REPEAL Act, a Bill which addresses the serious problem of discrimination in the use of criminal and civil commitment laws against those who test positive for HIV. Take action now!

Understanding the Affordable Care Act

Recommended Reading: Understanding the Medicare Coverage “Cliff”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes numerous provisions to improve the health security of older adults. For example, the ACA eliminates the coverage gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage (sometimes referred to as “the doughnut hole”) and expands access to free preventive and wellness visits for seniors. However, the ACA’s improvement of coverage for people under age 65 makes some of the long-standing limitations of current Medicare coverage more obvious. Learn more about the Medicare coverage "Cliff" via the National Health Law Program.

Understanding Medicaid Expansion 

The obligation to care for the health of the poor, universally recognized by religious organizations, is among this country’s fundamental values and is furthered by the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. Many states, however, have opted-out and chosen not to expand Medicaid access. Learn more about this important issie and why it is of concern for people of faith.

The Affordable Care Act - Enrollment

The United Church of Christ believes that the Affordable Care Act is a huge step in the right direction to providing much needed health care for millions who continue to live their lives without it and in fear that one catastrophic illness would plunge them into deep financial ruin. We participated in the prayerful witness because we believe that the law itself and the expansion of Medicaid included in the Affordable Care Act both speak to the moral and justice imperatives of equal access for all. Learn more about ACA implementation and how to get covered.


Ms. Barbara T. Baylor
Policy Advocate for Health and Wholeness Issues
100 Maryland Avenue, NE
Suite 300
Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer
Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115