Saturday, January 22, 2011

Interfaith Coalition Stands Up for Health Care Reform

In a show of defiance against efforts by Congressional Republicans to repeal health care reform, more than 150 faith groups from across the country held a joint rally and press conference in Washington earlier this week to signal their opposition to the repeal efforts. From the folks over at Faith in Public Life:
The message is clear: those who have worked hard for decades to ensure that all Americans have quality, affordable health care are not going to sit on the sidelines while opponents try to play political games with this issue and repeal the important benefits now being enjoyed by millions of Americans.

Today's repeal vote in the House was largely symbolic, but the activism and commitment of the faith community was very real and will persist until the long-term effort to dismantle or de-fund reform is defeated.
Repeal efforts have been treated primarily as political posturing by a Democratic establishment that still has control of the Senate and the possibility of a presidential veto up its sleeve. Even still, it is very encouraging to see interfaith groups take the long view on the potential significance of the Republican efforts in terms of branding and shaping popular opinion about the legislation. Faith groups must continue pushing the argument that affordable health care in this country is not an issue of Democrats versus Republicans, but an issue of justice versus injustice. As Catholic Health Association Senior Vice President Mike Rogers explained during the press conference this week:
"[H]ealth care coverage for everyone, especially for the poor and the vulnerable in our society is a moral priority. It builds on the foundation of the common good. When individuals and families go without health care coverage it's an affront to their human dignity."

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