The Washington Post: Lobbyists for God

Date: 
Wed, 11/11/2009
By: 
Niv Elis

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Corporations like Verizon and Exelon are members of the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), a coalition that lobbies for affordable and universal healthcare alongside religious groups like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Salvation Army, an evangelical Christian group devoted to service.

Ralph Neas, the CEO of NCHC sees faith groups as a key pillar of its strategy. "They are the best spokespersons for the need to improve our health system," he says, and when compared to businesses, "they're more effective outside of Washington, in their communities where they carry tremendous respect."

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Although members of a particular coalition may not see eye to eye on many issues, the politics of the moment allow for strange bedfellows. "Right now, with health care and the climate issue, you're seeing issues where partnership is easier and more appropriate" says Eric Sapp a Founding Partner of the Eleison Group, a Washington-based political consultancy that specializes in outreach to faith communities.

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