Brethren Called to Support Health Insurance for Children

Church of the Brethren Newsline
July 20, 2007

An action alert from the Brethren Witness/Washington Office is calling for support for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). “In the next few weeks Congress will decide whether or not millions of children in America will have the health coverage they need to reach their God-given potential in life,” the alert said. “Over the past decade, the SCHIP has been effective at reducing the number of uninsured children. However, nine million children are still uninsured, millions more are underinsured, and the number of uninsured children is on the rise–government data indicates that the number of uninsured children increased by 294,000 from 2004 to 2005.”

The office alerted Brethren that funding for SCHIP expires this year, and Congress is considering renewal of the program and will decide how many children will remain uninsured. “People of faith and conscience have a moral obligation to send Congress the message that anything less than health coverage for all children is unacceptable,” the alert said.

In 1989, the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference affirmed the right to healthcare for all people with the following statement (in part), “Throughout the Scriptures, God calls for justice and fairness for all people. Therefore, it seems particularly clear that in the richest nation on earth God expects access to adequate health care to be a basic right for all citizens, regardless of gender, race, or financial status. While good health cannot be assured to everyone, good health care can and should be guaranteed.” To review the entire statement visit and click on the link to Brethren policy.

The alert suggested that concerned people send e-mails to Senators and Representatives in support of expanding children’s health coverage so that all children and pregnant women are guaranteed comprehensive, easy-to-obtain health and mental health coverage. The Children’s Defense Fund offers a tool to assist with these e-mails at and also has a Community Action Kit that is available. The phone number 800-861-5343 will direct callers to elected officials’ offices.

Contact the Brethren Witness/Washington Office at 337 N. Carolina Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20003; 800-785-3246;;

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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