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At SustiNet Health Care Cabinet meeting, faith leaders pray for the dead and dying

As they have for the past four months, Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care leaders and their allies held a prayer vigil at the monthly SustiNet Cabinet meeting. On March 13th faith leaders in the health care for all movement came together to hold the cabinet accountable to their vital task of expanding access to health care, reducing costs, and addressing racial disparities in the system.

To shed light on the urgent need for change, members of the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care prayed for those who are suffering without health care, and for those who have literally lost their lives because they could not afford the care they desperately needed. Fellowship leaders delivered a basket filled with the names of their family members, friends, neighbors, and congregants who have suffered and died due to a lack of health coverage to Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman (who chairs the Cabinet).

Rev. Dave Nelson and Rev. Sonia Gutierrez deliver the names of people who have died or who are currently suffering due to lack of access to the health care they desperately need to Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.

Outside the entrance to the room where the SustiNet Cabinet was meeting, Interfaith Fellowship co-chairs Rev. Damaris Whittaker and Rev. Josh Pawelek gave a Eulogy for Those Who Lost Their Lives because they didn’t have quality, affordable, accessible health care. You can read the full Eulogy on Rev Josh Pawelek’s blog.

The SustiNet Cabinet is charged with creating a business plan for “alternatives to private insurance,” including the Public Option. With 400,000 residents of CT without access to health care and many small businesses and municipalities crippled by the cost of insurance, it’s clear our system is broken; fixing a problem of this magnitude will require a large-scale, coordinated, public response. The public option IS the pathway to do that – to bring healing to people across the state and end gross racial and ethnic disparities.

The SustiNet Cabinet can open that pathway. The Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care (IFUHC) delivered this message, urging Cabinet members to see their duties through until we have health care for all.

This is a crucial year for health reform: Connecticut is putting together the building blocks for quality, affordable health care for everyone. In 2014, full federal reform takes effect, and we must make good decisions THIS YEAR to get it right. Good decisions require an open process and public involvement. Your help is needed to make sure that the laws passed in 2011 live up to their promise and that we are fully prepared for federal health reform. STAND WITH US!

Interfaith Fellowship activists at the January 10th, 2012 SustiNet Cabinet meeting prayer vigil

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Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care Rally

On December 14th, 2010 the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care (IFUHC) brought together over 500 clergy, elected officials, community activists, union members, health care providers, small business owners, student, retirees, and people of diverse faith traditions to rally in support of a state-wide universal health care proposal called SustiNet. Standing on the alter of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hartford, CCNE Board member and IFUHC co-chair Imam Kashif Abdul-Karim and his fellow IFUHC leaders presented sacred objects from their respective faiths to the newly elected Governor, in the hopes that these symbolic offerings would serve as a reminder of the moral imperative to make quality, affordable health care accessible to all residents of Connecticut.