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Obama Asks Religious Leaders to Preach the Gospel of HC Reform


"The debate in Washington is over."

With approval ratings plummeting and support for the new health care law waning, the president is scrambling for ways to sell his health care overhaul. Possibly looking for a miracle, he's turning to church leaders who preach about such events to deliver one.

"Obama, alongside other top administration officials, beseeched thousands of faith-based and community organizations to preach the gospel on new insurance reforms, chiefly the Patients’ Bill of Rights." That's how Politico describes a conference call that featured the president on Tuesday.

"Get out there and spread the word," the president encouraged religious leaders on the call. Politico reports that Obama also advised those listening to treat the new law as settled fact and use their perches of power to convey that message to congregants and friends.

"The debate in Washington is over," he said, and called on the leaders to be "important validators and trusted resources," regarding the law.

Despite reports and news that the new health care law is not fulfilling some of the promises Obama made regarding it, and that those within the president's own party are distancing themselves from it, he still sees the law as a monumental piece of legislation that is good for the country:

This is something that we’ll be able to look back on, just like we do on Medicare and Social Security, as a cornerstone that improves the security of millions of Americans, at the same time lowers costs and gets control of costs, both at the government level, but also for families and businesses.

That's a sentiment that is not shared by all those in the president's own party. For example, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) who voted for the health care bill is now encouraging his state to seek ways to bypass some of its requirement.

Tuesday's conference call was organized by Health and Human Services Center for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships.

Recognizing the large task in front of the group, Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Partnerships, outlined the task: "We’ve got work to do.”

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