Useful Pew backgrounder on faith and U.S. healthcare debate

October 5, 2009

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has released a useful backgrounder on the role of faith groups in the increasingly bitter and partisan U.S. healthcare debate. You can read it here.

The report focuses on the two large faith-based coalitions that have emerged on opposite sides of the political struggle to overhaul America’s system of healthcare, which is President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.


Faith for Health, is a broad coalition of self-described progressive groups that strongly supports Obama’s reform drive. It  includes mainline and evangelical Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists and Jews.

The Freedom Federation is a group of mostly conservative Christian organizations — a key Republican Party base — which strongly opposes what many of its activists decry as “Obamacare.” Both groups have taken to the airwaves and undertaken grassroots campaigns.

Healthcare reform is the biggest political show right now in Washington, where faith and politics often mix in ways they don’t elsewhere in the developed world. What do you think? Do you think faith-based groups will make a difference one way or the other on this issue? And which side will have its prayers answered?

(PHOTO: Thousands of demonstrators gather on the plaza near the U.S. Capitol to participate in a “Taxpayer March on DC”, protest against President Barack Obama’s policies including healthcare reform. Faith groups have stirred much of the conservative opposition to the president’s agenda.  September 12, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Theiler)
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