The Common Good

Clergy advocate health care reform

Date: May 22, 2009

Obama is urging comprehensive health care reform by the end of the year, and a national network of clergy is doing the same. The group is starting a nationwide campaign to advocate for health care reform, buying radio ads featuring local clergy and airing them in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Nebraska.

The Missouri ad features Rev. Don Morrow saying, "Arkansans are working harder than ever, but health care is becoming less and less affordable. It's just not right. Every person, created in the image of God, is of limitless value.” Then a female voice urges listeners, "Contact your Members of Congress and encourage them to work together to make quality health care choices affordable for all families.” (You can listen to the ads here.)

The network includes PICO National Network, Faith in Public Life, Sojourners and others. The group is also working on grassroots events, with 586 clergy agreeing to preach on health care reform and urge their congregations to call Congress. In June and July, clergy will hold 130 "health care Sundays” and meetings with members of Congress, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

In a conference call for journalists yesterday, Kristin Williams with Faith in Public Life said that the organizers' main reform priorities are coverage for all Americans, affordability, and choice.