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Faith leaders emerge as key to healthcare outreach

RRStar.com / The Associated Press, August 12, 2013

CHICAGO — Religion and the nation's new health law haven't exactly been viewed as friendly partners in the public eye, with most of the attention focused on religious employers' objections to covering the cost of birth control. But under the radar, leaders in some Illinois faith communities are spreading the word about the Affordable Care Act to make sure their uninsured members know about new benefits available starting in 2014 and about the approaching enrollment start date. Nationally, President Barack Obama's administration and advocacy groups are courting leaders of churches, mosques and synagogues to join the outreach effort, a lesson federal leaders learned when working with faith-based groups to help launch the Medicare prescription drug program and the Children's Health Insurance Program.