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Islamic Groups Push Lawmakers For Health Care

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D.C. area Islamic groups met on Capitol Hill Tuesday to push their lawmakers to pass health care reform that will help newcomers to the U.S.

At a policy get-together, members of several Islamic groups suggested Congress take an inter-faith approach, one that is based on moral principles, when considering health care legislation. The group members realize their hopes for a single payer system are dashed, and the prospects for a government insurance plan continues to dwindle.

Khalique Zahir is a physician at I-nova Fairfax Hospital. "In this particular area it tends to be a little more affluent than the northern Virginia area and southern Maryland area which has a lot of educated Muslims," says Zahir. "Fortunately they are all usually the kind of people insured. A larger percent of the people who are refugees who have sought political exile in the country and are now American citizens are uninsured."

Zahir said a public option is needed to cover the nation's 1.5 million Muslims who are insured. He said a lot of Muslims traditionally follow religious teachings and opt for local care or herbal medicine that doesn't cure serious illnesses.

Sara Sciammacco reports...

WAMU 88.5

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