Healthcare debate with a heavenly twist

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The healthcare reform debate has no doubt drawn up both positives and negatives from both sides of the isle. But, one East Texas council group is hoping to "talk-up" the health care reform through a religious perspective.

Talking about health care reform is like sounding a ambulance alarm. From angry town hall forums to committee hearings on capital hill, everyone has their own opinion.

"I don't have any problem with us being in disagreement, but it's the manner in which we're going," said Saleem Shabazz, with the Tyler Islamic Society. "And, I also think we need to look at the health care issue more than just dollars and cents."

Shabazz is one of several panelist who are having their own health care forum, but with a theological twist.

"We've let politics finances get in the way of doing something that we have a moral obligation to do," said Shabazz.

And, moral obligations is what the Interfaith Council wants to focus on.

"What we're trying to make people do is stop and take a look at things and say, 'Maybe I do have some obligations towards those people that are left out of this health plan,'" said Shabazz.

"There is not a wall that separates religious values from public policy and public discussion," said Father Gavin Vaverek, the pastor of Saint Mary's Catholic Church.

Vaverek says his focus is on the Christian tradition.

"It's too easy to lump the poor, this special interest group, that special interest group, but to recognize that we are endowed by our creator with inalienable rights and health care is apart of maintaining that right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," said Vaverek.

It is a health care pursuit that will likely have folks talking from here on out.

The Interfaith Council will kick off the healthcare reform public forum at 6:30 Tuesday night at the Senior Circle on 4th Street in Longview. The public is encouraged to attend.

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