140,000 participate in faith leaders’ health care reform call with Obama

Statement from Faith in Public Life, PICO National Network, Sojourners and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Washington, DC – An estimated 140,000 people of faith gathered on a historic national conference call with President Barack Obama and the American faith community.

Sponsored by more than thirty religious denominations and organizations that cut across race and religious tradition, the call helped launch a massive “40 Days for Health Reform” campaign to mobilize people of faith to press Congress to finish work on health care reform when they return after Labor Day Recess.

President Obama and his Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes spoke directly to the most pressing issues on the minds of people of faith. By addressing the moral dimension of the health care debate, they recognized the important role of the faith community in finally achieving health care reform.

At every moment in American history when a movement was needed to solve a great challenge facing the nation, people of faith have led. This moment is no different. Today’s call lifted up the inspiring efforts of tens of thousands of people of faith across the United States to promote a civil dialogue and ensure Congress passes legislation in 2009 that makes quality health care affordable for all American families. The call put the focus of the health care debate where it should be – on the needs and voice of American families working to keep their loved ones healthy and their communities strong.

A recording of the call is available at www.faithforhealth.org or www.blogtalkradio.com/40mins4health, which live-streamed the call.

More information about the 40 Day Campaign for Health Care Reform is available at www.faithforhealth.org, including the call co-sponsors.

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  1. Sarah Lawton

    I am very glad to see The Episcopal Church listed on the sponsor list of this campaign along with so many of our communion partners and ecunemical and interreligious allies in social justice work. Our church’s endorsement of this campaign is consonant with several resolutions we passed this summer at General Convention, including D088 urging immediate action on meaningful health care reform, and D048 supporting a “single payer” universal health care program to provide health care coverage for all people, as well as any interim actions that will extend the range of coverage until the goal of universal health care coverage can be attained.

    Lack of health care access in our relatively wealthy nation is one of the moral issues of our time. Close to 50 million people do not have insurance coverage, and many more are underinsured (and worse, we may not even know we are underinsured until we need the insurance to cover a major illness).

    We have an opportunity to make real progress this year. I urge all Episcopalians to listen to the podcast and to sign the pledge to participate in the 40-day campaign at http://www.faithforhealth.org.

  2. Dave

    At All Saints Pasadena, we were able to gather together about 125 people to experience this webcast in community, and had a worthwhile discussion afterward. (It was 2pm here, so we couldn’t draw as large an audience as we might have had with an evening or weekend time.)

    There was a small write-up in the local paper:


    Dave Frick


  3. I listened to the conference and thought it well done. There was little new to me about the health care discussion, but the ideas people presented were useful. I thought it important that we got a few minutes of the President’s time, and also from his White House Domestic Policy Advisor. Certainly, they felt leaders in the faith communities worth their time.

    Marshall Scott

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