Faith & Health Care


The Lord made man steward over creation and our new understanding calls for an acknowledgement that THC is good medicine, but that shouldn’t be surprising because, “God saw that it was good.”

One of the hot button topics as the election approaches is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health reform law recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the ACA was enacted 2 ½ years ago and implementation has begun, there still is a lot of misinformation about the ACA. Americans still are asking “What does the law mean for me?”

Medicaid is a jointly funded state and Federal government program that pays for medically necessary services. With the passage of the Medicaid reform legislation, via SB 2840, in May 2012, Illinois will now pay for less medically-necessary health care services.

Connecticut Governor, Dan Malloy, just signed into action a bill that will enable patients to obtain medicinal marijuana from certified pharmacists. This makes Connecticut the 17th state in the U.S. to legalize the drug in some form. What's next for Illinois?

A new process for charity care--free and reduced-cost care for uninsured and under-insured individuals at nonprofit, tax-exempt hospitals in Illinois--has emerged from the General Assembly. This important step forward for health care justice is tempered by the expansion of the provisions of tax exemption for hospitals across the state.

“Is health care a right or a choice?” was the question posed to me recently by a high-school student who was interviewing me about current legislative issues.

The large sign held by a protestor outside the Supreme Court last week declared: “OBAMACARE IS UNAMERICAN.” After a few seconds of disgust--time enough to put myself in a more reflective gear--I found myself agreeing with the protestor, or at least seriously entertaining the possibility he was right.

Responsibility. What’s your policy? That’s what the American people are being asked today. And that’s what religious communities and people of faith are again asking, especially on issues like sexuality, and reproductive health, and, yes, contraception.

On August 16, 2011 the Illinois Department of Revenue (DOR) issued denials on tax-exemption applications for new construction at three major not-for-profit hospitals in Illinois--Northwestern Memorial’ s Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, Edward Hospital in Naperville, and Decatur Memorial Hospital in down-state Decatur. This is an important step in the quest for fair charity care in Illinois.

About 70 people gathering in the rain and wind on May 26, 2011 at the State of IL Building (Thompson Center) in Chicago's Loop to dramatize the plight of the "walking wounded," those who have no health insurance and who are often turned away by the numerous non-profit hospitals which do not provide an adequate level of charity care despite their tax exemptions. As the campaign for charity care continues, Rev. Al Sharp offered the invocation at this public witness organized by the Fair Care Coalition.


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