Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thousands join White House call-in for faith-based health care reform

More than 140,000 callers joined a conference call last night with Melody Barnes, White House domestic policy adviser, President Obama, and religious leaders last for a faith-based discussion of health care reform. For the thousands who could not get on the call, and for those who missed it, a recording is posted here. (the recording may start on two players on the website; if it does, simply pause the second player.)

The call was sponsored by PICO, a national, non-partisan network of faith-based community organizations. Participants included pastors and worshipers from seven PICO affiliates giving testimony about the sometimes fatal delays in care they face as a result of the costs and limitations that drive health care industry profits.

Melody Barnes took questions from participants on health rationing fears, the cost of reform, federal funding of abortion, and affordability of coverage under an individual mandate, followed by representatives of congregations reporting on how their churches are educating and organizing for reform. President Obama portrayed the debate as its taking place among voters as a battle between hope and fear, something that was true of other groundbreaking government reform initiatives.

Participants were asked to take action over the next "forty days" to make sure that Congress reconvenes ready to pass comprehensive health care reform. Check for calls to action between now and the end of the recess. The call closed with remarks from the president on the moral imperative for health care reform, which he portrayed as a battle between hope and fear.

No comments: