Bishop Ward at the Affordable Care Act Press Conference (Updated)

Bishop Ward’s message at the Affordable Care Act press conference held Tuesday, December 16, 2013. View the full press conference on the NC Conference Vimeo page.

Jesus’ earliest ministry involved healing. He became known as the Great Physician, and disciples have, for centuries, practiced healing through the provision of comfort and care and the building of hospitals for more acute medical needs of the population.

In keeping with Jesus’ concern for the whole person, and his apparent hope for wellness of mind, body and spirit, The United Methodist Church has embraced as a Social Principle, the right of all persons to health care, recognizing the injustice when access to care is available only to the privileged. Disciples of Jesus Christ affirm the hope he expressed, “I came so that they could have life — indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” (John 10:10)

The Affordable Care Act will provide access to physical and mental health care for the 1.3 million persons currently uninsured in NC.

The window for enrolling in a health insurance plan, to receive the benefits as of January 1, 2014, is open now and until December 23. The enrollment process has been greatly improved since the October 1 introduction, and application may be completed online or by telephone or on paper.

The Affordable Care Act provides essential health benefits for all uninsured persons in the US. Pre-existing conditions will not prevent applicants from getting coverage.

If you or someone in your congregation needs help, you can get more information at, or 1-800-318-2596.

Some churches are providing navigators to assist in the enrollment. The navigators are trained by Legal Aid of North Carolina. To make an appointment for enrollment assistance, call 1-855-733-3711.

Updated 12/19/13: Included a link to the full press conference.

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  • Sharon Galipi

    I have to be honest and say that the Affordable Care Act sounds great on paper but in the end it is destroying Health Care now as we know it. Sorry to sound negative but as a nurse I am saying it as I see it. Christians need to take matters into their own hands and not depend on the government to help others. This is a job for the church.