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On March 6th, Rev. Josh Pawelek and a delegation from Unitarian Universalist (UU) Society: East,
Manchester, CT, participated in an action led by the Interfaith Fellowship for
Universal Health Care, of which their congregation is a leading member. Dozens
of religious leaders, along with groups from their congregations, totaling
upwards of 150 people, marched to the State Capitol where they held a rally and
hand-delivered a request to Gov. Rell’s staff for a meeting with the
The coalition is pushing for health reform through a proposal before the
legislature by the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. The
foundation says the plan, called SustiNet, could insure 98 percent of state
residents by 2014.
The group of interfaith clergy read from a collection of 16 statements about
the importance of universal health care from various religious traditions to
demonstrate the similarity of viewpoints among religious groups representing
thousands of state residents. Rev. Pawelek spoke about the long-time
commitment of Unitarian Universalists to health care, and drew on the large body
of General Assembly resolutions on health care and read from the 2008 Action of
Immediate Witness for Single Payor Health Care. Pawelek lifted up that for his
largely white middle class congregation and denomination, health care for all is
a religious issue not just about valuing all people, but recognizing the
inequities that have privileged some while disadvantaging people with
low-incomes and many people of color.
Over the past four years, the Universal Health Care Foundation developed
relationships with several key groups that would be instrumental in creating
broad change in the health system, including medical societies, hospitals,
businesses and clergy. Juan Figueroa, the foundation's president, said clergy
members are well suited to make a wide range of voices heard.
The action received coverage in the Hartford Courant and Rev. Pawelek’s
interview was on several radio stations. Rev. Josh Pawelek can be seen in this photo gallery: see photo number 2, in the front row on the right of the clergy co-chair group
of the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.
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