Religious leaders march for health care reform

December 10, 2009 7:10:34 PM PST
The health care debate in Washington is playing out on the streets of San Francisco. Religious leaders and others are leading an interfaith march from Yerba Buena Gardens to Union Square.

The marchers arrived in Union Square around 6 p.m. with such a solemn topic to confront holiday shoppers with. They wanted to draw attention to health care reform and the difficult decisions many families have to make.

Earlier in the evening the marchers kicked off their rally in Yerba Buena Garden and listened to some speeches about health care reform before they marched.

Some local religious leaders decided to organize this event as the debate in Washington heated up. They got really motivated as the idea of a public option started to weaken on Capitol Hill, but they told ABC7 they are people of faith, they're not losing hope.

"It's one step at a time. We need Congress to hear, hear from the grassroots, not the lobbyists. We need to say 'This is a moral imperative, our country has lost its moral compass and we need to find it again and find it with affordable health care," said Rev. Carol Been, one of the religious organizers.

The group ended up with an unexpected example of the need for health care reform; three of their speakers who were scheduled to share their stories at the rally about not having health insurance, couldn't make it because they are all sick. They haven't been able to take care of themselves.

The group is marching to represent the 45,000 people who have died because of a lack of health insurance. The number cited comes from a study out of Harvard University. When they arrive at Geary and Stockton streets, the marchers plan to read the names of 45 people, each one representing 1,000 people who died.


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