Originally published February 15 2015
Obama Administration now using churches to serve as Obamacare enrollment and propaganda centers
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The Father, the Son and... Obamacare? To the Obama Administration, nothing is sacred when it comes to pimping the president's signature health "reform" legislation.
In a bid to enroll as many Americans as possible for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the administration is going to great lengths, even partnering with churches and other faith-based organizations and publishing sample church bulletin inserts, flyers and scripts filled with propaganda talking points (and with your tax dollars, too).
As reported by The Weekly Standard online, the materials are part of a package of materials put out by the Department of Health and Human Services called the "Second Sunday & Faith Weekend of Action Toolkit",[PDF] now available on the department's website.
The Weekly Standard further reported:
From the beginning, HHS has sought to develop partnerships with faith-based organizations to promote the Obamacare. This "toolkit" has been available since 2013. However, the details of these partnerships have largely escaped the attention of the national media. The Second Sunday & Faith Weekend of Action program encourages churches to use the second Sunday of each month during open enrollment to hold informational meetings and sign-up events.
Sample bulletin inserts provided by HHS are full of false promises and puffery, such as "[h]igh quality health insurance is now available" and that consumers can purchase "plans that cover a comprehensive set of benefits." In addition, the flyers promote government dependency, stating that consumers may qualify for taxpayer-subsidized "programs" like "Medicaid and CHIP."
Included in the materials are two full pages of "talking points," which conclude with this admonishment to churches: "You are trusted messengers in this community. We hope you share this information with those around you so they can be connected with the care they need."
In addition, notes The Weekly Standard, non-profit organizations such as Community Health Connectors have also brought churches and faith-based groups together with government officials for information about Obamacare. They have even recently hosted an "off the record" conference call with First Lady Michelle Obama "to discuss how the Affordable Care Act is impacting the lives of your congregation members."
The department has also offered to make officials available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to talk to church groups at their sponsored events. The CMS "2nd Sunday HIM [Health Insurance Marketplace] Enrollment for Faith and Community Event" form, for instance, asks church groups for contact information, an audience profile and desired topics and dates. It also asks if "other CMS, HHS, Congressional Members or any other VIP officials expected to attend."
"In at least one case, a marketplace even invoked scripture as part of the enrollment push," The Weekly Standard reported.
"They come to hear a timeless word from the Lord"
D.C. Healthlink, the insurance marketplace for the nation's capital, assigned a theme[PDF] for their Weekend of Action in March 2014, which states, "The body is a temple and it must be insured."
"The active engagement of the faith community has inspired hundreds of District consumers to heed the call for health insurance and enroll in health insurance plans," the flyer also says. "Faith leaders are being asked to share information from their pulpits about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and quality...."
A recent blog post on the HHS website stated that more than 5,500 faith-based leaders have "promoted health insurance enrollment within their communities through efforts like the Second Sunday Program." The deadline for open enrollment was Sunday, February 15.
Not all faith leaders are jumping on board. Robert James Jeffress, Jr., pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, told Fox & Friends Feb. 16 that his congregation does not attend church to be lectured about healthcare, but rather members come "to hear a timeless word from the Lord, not the latest word from Washington, D.C."
His full interview is available here.
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