Another wrinkle in health care debate: Political sponsorship complicates forum at Ascension parish in Oak Park, IL

Most of the drama at a health care forum held at Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park took place before the event. The forum was originally co-sponsored by two political groups, but after a parishioner at St. Edmund’s church, Susan Jordan, complained to the Archdiocese of Chicago about the event, those two groups were dropped as co-sponsors. The event went on as planned, but no press coverage was allowed. The forum, called the Health Care Reform Forum: Under the Doctors Microscope, was held Sept. 20 at Ascension’s Pine Room and about 250 people heard a panel of doctors discuss health care reform and answer questions. A similar forum was held Sept. 19 at St. Giles Catholic Church, and did not arouse controversy. The Ascension forum was originally co-sponsored by the Democratic Party of Oak Park and Organizing for America, the latter of which is an offshoot of the Obama presidential campaign. Organizing for America now advocates on behalf of Obama, along with Ascension’s Peace and Justice committee.