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NCC welcomes U.S. Supreme Court decision
upholding individual health insurance requirement

New York, June 28, 2012 -- The National Council of Churches today welcomed today's decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that upholds the core of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obama Care."


The Supreme Court has upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. 


"The member communions of the National Council of Churches have supported readily available health care since we were formed in 1950 during the Truman Administration," said Kathryn M. Lohre, NCC President.


"We as churches follow the bold example of Jesus, who healed the sick, sometimes breaking the religious law that governed society," Lohre said.


"Our members have always believed that health care is not simply another worthy cause to which we lend our name," said Lohre.


"Christians believe that human beings—all of them—are infinitely-valued children of God, created in God’s image. Adequate health care, therefore, is a matter of preserving what our gracious God has made. That is why churches (and other religious communities) have established so many hospitals and other places of healing. And why we are convinced that health care is not a privilege, reserved for those who can afford it, but a right that should be available, at high quality, to all."

Lohre said, "There is another principle undergirding our approach to this crucial topic: namely, a special concern for society’s most vulnerable members. The basic principles we have always supported require our nation to provide health care that has significant limits on cost sharing imposed on the poor, expands comprehensive coverage that low-income children and families receive through Medicaid and CHIP, ensures sufficient funding for safety-net hospitals and clinics, promotes preventative care, and prohibits denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions."

The National Council of Churches is a community of 37 Christian denominations, Protestant and Orthodox. Together, our churches have some 40 million members in more than 100,000 congregations. "This helps make us an important voice in public discussion of an issue like health care," Lohre said. "We are pleased to work closely on many issues, including this one, with the Roman Catholic Church, and to find common cause with neighbors of other faiths. Just as health care programs and the legislation that mandate them should be bipartisan, so the support of such legislation is appropriately interfaith."

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 40 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),


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