How Faith-Based Providers Are Working to Expand Access to Health Care Through the Affordable Care Act

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Conservatives often present a false opposition between government and charity. They believe that charitable and faith-based organizations are better suited to provide health and other social services than the government. But the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, reveals a far different reality, one that proves Americans are best served when there are strong community-government partnerships that ensure all Americans have access to smart, effective, and community-specific programs and services.

Just as government needs local community partners, many faith-based organizations need government support—support that various provisions of the Affordable Care Act make possible. More so than ever, faith-based organizations, churches, and charities that are providing important work on the ground cannot meet the needs of their communities without additional assistance and support. Rev. Gary Gunderson, vice president for faith and health ministries at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, says that the ACA is “a huge landmark” for faith-based health care. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the faith community to help make it work,” he said.

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