News & Media

Faith Leaders Proclaim Time is Now for Affordable Health Care

PICO National Network

October 16, 2009

Oct. 20 Day of Action: Services of Remembrance, Newspaper Ads, Multimedia Exhibit & Thousands of Calls to Congress

All Pushing for More Affordable Coverage for Lower-Income Working Families

After a summer of strong and sustained grassroots organizing in support of health care reform, prominent local pastors from across the country will gather on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, October 20 at 11:00 a.m. to pray and proclaim the moral case for improvements to health reform legislation that would make coverage more affordable for lower-income families.  As the Senate prepares to merge two different reform bills, these faith leaders are joining consumer, advocacy and civil rights groups in calling on Members to remedy the inadequacy of Senate Finance legislation that requires families to buy coverage that costs too much and covers too little.

At noon, local faith leaders will hold an Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Hope for Health Care Reform at National City Christian Church in Washington, DC, to remember the 45,000 people who die each year for lack of health insurance.  Participants will hear the stories of and pray for those who have died and call for moral leadership from Congress and President Obama. 

The Washington DC events are part of a larger faith-based day of action on October 20, with efforts organized nationwide by congregations and faith-based organizations, including PICO National Network, Faithful Reform in Health Care, Interfaith Worker Justice, Catholics United and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, across the United States:

  • 50+ rallies and events nationwide calling for health reform
  • 30+ "National Day of Remembrance and Hope" events both in D.C. and across the country, featuring interfaith services, candlelight vigils, prayer breakfasts, and other activities (sponsored by Faithful Reform in Health Care; view list of events here).
  • A Congressional call-in day expected to generate thousands of calls to Members of Congress
  • Meetings with the offices of numerous Members
  • Full-page newspaper ads in key states including Maine and North Dakota (sponsored by Catholics United)
  • A multimedia exhibit on Capitol Hill featuring 1,000 professional-quality photos and video of Americans from across the country explaining why they and their families need health reform (sponsored by PICO National Network)

WHAT: Capitol Hill Prayer Rally and Press Conference on Capitol Hill (sponsored by PICO National Network)

WHO: Rev. Wallace Hartsfield, Sr., Pastor Emeritus, Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, Communities Creating Opportunity, Kansas City, MO

Rev. Brian Maas, Senior Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE

Rev. Dr. Wade Schemmel, Conference Minister for the Northern Plains Council, United Church of Christ, Bismarck, ND

Rev. Sally Bowersox, Executive Director of St. Benedict Health and Healing  Ministry, Episcopal Church, Denver, CO     

Rev. Steven Beckham, First Little Rock Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, LA   

Rev. A.B. Sutton, Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL, Birmingham Interfaith Sponsoring Committee

and additional clergy from key states

WHEN: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: East Lawn of the Capitol building, Senate side

VISUALS: Prominent clergy standing in front of the Capitol Building holding poster-sized photographs of uninsured and underinsured families from key states