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1998 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS millions of Americans are presently denied medical insurance and, in effect, denied the right to basic health care because the United States government, employers, and insurance industry have been unable to implement a national health insurance program; and

WHEREAS this has been brought home to our Association by the June 1998 action of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, which has notified the Unitarian Universalist Association that its group medical plans will not be renewed on September 1, 1998, so that our Association, along with several other religious groups in the United States, is being forced to discontinue medical insurance for its clergy and staff because of costs, and over 70 clergy, their families and/or partners, are in danger of not being able to obtain replacement health insurance with affordable premiums, if at all;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 1998 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association:

  1. decries a system where the values of the medical and insurance marketplace and the pursuit of profits in the guise of managed care conspire to deprive United States citizens of basic health care;
  2. urges individual Unitarian Universalists and member societies to study the inequities of the present health insurance situation in the United States and to take assertive public positions to seek remedies at the state and federal level;
  3. calls on Unitarian Universalist congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists in the United States to urge members of Congress and the Administration to proceed toward the creation of a comprehensive health care system that will guarantee affordable medical, hospital, and mental health care (both inpatient and outpatient) to all persons regardless of age, place of employment, or personal financial circumstances;
  4. encourages the promotion of a Patient's Bill of Rights for the protection of confidentiality, freedom of choice of practitioners, and parity for reimbursement of mental and medical conditions; and
  5. urges the staff and volunteer leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Association to assist all persons in the Unitarian Universalist Association Group Insurance Plan who may lose coverage to find replacement health insurance with premiums that can be afforded by their employer-congregations.

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