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Religious Leaders Participate in 40 Hour Fast for Health Care Reform

By Jillian Bannister

Buffalo, NY – More than 45 million people in the United States lack health coverage. In response, religious leaders from ten congregations in Western New York are taking part in a statewide 40-hour fast for health care reform.

Reverend Merle Showers of the United Methodist Church says the stress of being denied health coverage not only scares people, but may damage their health.

"They often become sicker faster because the stress in their lives," Showers said. "I have brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews who I talk to who are frightened that if they get sick, they are going to lose their homes, their cars, their livelihood, because they don't have health care."

The fast was organized by the New York State Labor Religion Coalition and the Coalition for Economic Justice and will end on Thursday.

Organizers estimate between 1,000 and 3,000 people are participating in the Buffalo area alone and as many as 5,000 statewide.