The news in early March that all United Methodists could receive a free drug discount card with savings up to 65 percent appeared at first glance to be a bold health-care step by a major denomination in the light of national disputes over how to help the nation’s uninsured.
The card was available to all 8.3 million of the denomination’s members, whether or not they have medical insurance, who in turn may give the special Methodist discount number to needy nonmembers so they too can obtain cards, said the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries (UMA). The association serves 400 Methodist-related hospitals, retirement homes and children’s facilities.
“We have many people falling through the cracks,” Mearle Griffith, president and CEO of the UMA, told United Methodist News Service. “They’re choosing between taking all of the drugs they need and groceries.”