6/28/12 at 11:48 AM 1 Comments

Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare, Obesity and the Church

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Obamacare has been largely upheld by the Supreme Court. The impact on corporations, the health care industry and individuals will be widespread. As the dust settles over the next several weeks, the affects will be more clear.

One thing is certain. There will be an even greater focus and efforts to modify the lifestyles of individuals in an effort to control health care costs. That's because lifestyle and the personal choices that people make largely determine health status.

Obesity is now receiving the attention that smoking once did. The costs of obesity to our country is huge and growing. (Pun intended.) We all know this. The leadership of corporate America knows this. The leadership of health insurers knows this. Individuals know this.

Today's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act is another reminder of the significance of attending to our lifestyle and overall wellness in an effort to impact on the financial impact of our health status.

How we manage our stress. our eating habits and our physical activity habits impact on our body weight. Our beliefs, our values and our attitudes affect our behaviors which become our habits. Since we are spirits at our core, we must address our deepest spiritual needs and beliefs if we are to measurably modify our lifestyle, which will impact on our body weight. We must 'connect the dots' between key biblical principles and our health-related behaviors and our health.

Because, at our core we are spiritual, we must address the care of our spirit as part of our 'wellness' initiatives in our corporations, health education programming and in our churches. Pastors and denominations need to get on board as key players in our fight against obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases and conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. As spiritual leaders, pastors have a responsibility to teach the members of their congregations about the connection between their spiritual health and their physical health. They have a responsibility to encourage their congregants to care for their physical health. I believe they have a responsibility to provide effective health-related initiatives within the ministries of their churches which address health - not just spiritual health, but emotional and physical health as well. And the pastors have a responsibility to care for their own health as well - to be models for members of their congregations and communities.

Slowly, leaders of churches are recognizing that they have a role to play with addressing our obesity epidemic. Kudos to Rick Warren and his staff at Saddleback church with their recent Daniel Plan initiative. The winners in the health improvements of individuals that occur at Saddleback will be many. Individuals will experience better health. Saddleback and their pastors will experience greater vibrancy. And, the health plans of the insured of the congregation will experience lower utilization and the associated lower costs. All this for starters. And from these outcomes, God will be glorified.

The door has opened even wider for the church to make a difference with our country's health care crisis.

Will our leadership walk through it?

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