Obama Attempts to Debunk Rumors in Call to Faith Leaders
President Obama pitched government-funded health care as a "a core ethical and moral obligation" in a conference call open to the public tonight, saying that some people are "bearing false witness."
"This notion that we are somehow setting up death panels that would decide on whether elderly people get to live or die. That is just an extraordinary lie," he said. "You've heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true."
Obama also said his opponents have claimed that elderly Americans that a new health insurance system could jeopardize Medicare.
"Many of you have older members of your congregations. They're all now scared to death that someone is talking about cutting Medicare benefits," he said. "That is again simply not true."
Faith in Public Life estimated that 140,000 people participated in the call.
"These are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation," Obama said. "And that is that we look out for one another. That I am my brother's keeper and my sister's keeper."
Sojourners President Jim Wallis, Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes also spoke.
Earlier today, Family Research Council launched a new TV ad in five states that claims Obama's health care plan will lead to publicly funded abortions.
President of FRC Tony Perkins released a statement responding to Obama's call.
"This evening, President Obama stated that abortion funding in health care reform is a 'distraction,'" he said. "If that is the case - then why not end this so-called 'distraction' and amend the bill to explicitly prohibit abortion funding and coverage with his health care plan?"