Preaching for health reform | Arkansas Blog

Preaching for health reform



Church leaders, including Episcopal deacon Joyce Hardy of Little Rock, will speak up for health care reform in ads placed on Christian and mainstream radio stations over the Independence Day congressional recess. The ads target states with fence-sitting senators. Ads here will aim to convince Sen. Blanche Lincoln, also Episcopalian, and Mark Pryor of the "moral imperative" to insure that all Americans have health care. ince

Since we're on the topic, here's another look at that report referenced recently by Ernest Dumas on the extent of monopolization of the health insurance industry in Arkansas. Blue Cross controls 75 percent of the market in Arkansas (97 percent! in Texarkana), a near-monopoly tht doesn't exactly nurture competition. Health insurance costs rose 66 percent from 2000 to 2007 in Arkansas (workers' wages during the same time rose about 12 percent). Also, costs were increasingly shifted to workers, with the workers' portion of annual coverage rising by 91 percent.


As Senators head home for Independence Day Recess, local faith leaders from across the country will take to the airwaves with radio ads reminding them that the status quo on health care is “not who we are as a nation” and that “America can do better.” Drawing on the Scriptural call to act with a spirit of courage, love and action, the ads urge key Senators to support reform that makes quality coverage truly affordable for every American family.

Ads will air on Christian and mainstream radio in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, and North Carolina featuring local pastors from each state asking their Senators to support reform. Local pastors who are lending their voices to the ads will join a conference call with journalists on Tuesday, June 30 at 11 am EDT to discuss impacts of the health care crisis in their communities and the moral imperative for reform.

The faith-based push for health care reform also includes meetings in multiple states with Members of Congress from both parties, sermons on health care and distribution of a new guide to the health care reform debate for people of faith. More than 600 clergy have also signed a letter of support for reform that will make coverage affordable for all families.

WHAT:  Launch of local radio ads and nationwide faith-based push for health care reform during the Independence Day Congressional Recess

WHO:  Reverend Joe Harvard, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Durham, NC  Pastor Mark Seem, Pella Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE
Venerable Joyce Hardy, Archdeacon, Episcopal Diocese of AR and Deacon, Christ Church, Little Rock, AR  Reverend Cory Sparks, Faith Community United Methodist Church, Lafayette, LA

Moderated by: Gordon Whitman, PICO National Network and Katie Paris, Faith in Public Life

WHEN: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 11 am EDT

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