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Resolution On Health Care Reform

WHEREAS, Health care reform legislation is a major agenda item for the President and Congress this year; and

WHEREAS, As our Creator is actively concerned and involved in all of life, we, as His disciples, are morally obligated to speak to this value-laden issue; and

WHEREAS, Christians historically have been at the forefront in providing compassionate health care ministry, including Southern Baptists who have demonstrated our concern for health care through the establishment of charitable hospitals and clinics; and

WHEREAS, In addition to the President’s “Health Security Act,” numerous other proposals and options for health care reform are under serious consideration in Congress; and

WHEREAS, While most Americans enjoy a health care system which is the envy of the world, millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured due to long-term unemployment, temporary unemployment, or health conditions which prevent insurance coverage; and

WHEREAS, There is a need for revision in the health care delivery system in order to provide affordable care for all those in need; and

WHEREAS, Escalating costs, out-of-control malpractice lawsuits, the millions of uninsured, and lack of “portability” of insurance coverage constitute important problems with health care in America; and

WHEREAS, The President’s bill and some alternatives explicitly provide for morally objectionable provisions, such as:

o abortion on demand or the absence of language which explicitly excludes abortion coverage,
o distribution of contraceptives to minors without parental consent through public schools by the establishment of school-based health clinics,
o the rationing of health care on the basis of economic decisions rather than the provision of health care on the basis of medical need,
o the violation of the centuries-old, covenantal relationship between physician and patient,
o inadequate conscience clauses which fail to protect religious persons, institutions, organizations, and medical facilities from participating in a health care system which would condone and support morally objectionable practices, and
o the forced inclusion of Southern Baptist institutions and churches in reform plans which may undermine the missions activities of our denomination.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That while our Baptist heritage of insistence on limited government causes us to believe the need for reform does not mandate a government-controlled, health care system, we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 14-16, 1994, nevertheless encourage the President and Congress in their attempt to reform America’s health care system; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we oppose any health care reform legislation that includes any of the aforementioned morally objectionable provisions.