November 7, 2008 

President-elect Barack Obama
Obama-Biden Transition Office
The White House
Washington, DC 20500 

Dear Mr. President-elect: 

Congratulations on your election as 44th President of the United States. Be assured that the member churches of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA hold you in our prayers.  In this time of transition, we pray too for the American people and give thanks for the blessings of democracy that permit the peaceful transfer of leadership. As you form your administration and take up the reins of government, may you sense anew Godís presence with you. 

We write to you today to share our concern for an urgent and important matter for the American people.  Today more than 47 million Americans lack health care coverage.  With the economic downturn, millions more are finding increases in medical co-payments and participation requirements unmanageable or are losing health benefits with the loss of employment.  Throughout your campaign for the presidency, you spoke often of your commitment to address the health needs of all Americans.  Today we are writing to you to urge you to make this a first priority of your administration.  

The National Council of Churches has long been an advocate of health care for all Americans as a matter of justice; all Americans deserve the opportunity to live the lives for which they were created.  Our own long history of health care advocacy and the experiences of tens of thousands of our congregations in providing health education and direct service programs tell us that a piecemeal system cannot meet the needs of our neighbors.  We urge you to begin as soon as possible to provide leadership to the national debate which must surely follow, so that a universal, just and sustainable approach to health care may become a hallmark of our democracy.  We pledge our own best efforts to engage in such a debate and to educate and motivate our more than 45 million constituent members to make their views and voices heard as we, together, forge a program of health care which leaves no person on the margins of our society. As you know, bold and decisive presidential leadership is indispensable to success in this crucial matter. 

We look forward to your response and are hopeful that the bright promise of your commitment to quality health care for all Americans might be fulfilled. 

May you know the blessings of peace and grace in the days and months ahead! 

Sincerely

                                                        

Michael Kinnamon                                                                                             Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
General Secretary                                                                                               President


NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228, NCCnews@ncccusa.org


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