Politics & Government

Faith groups plan health care series

Several downtown Olympia faith groups are sponsoring a series of public forums about health care beginning Tuesday evening, with state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler speaking and answering questions.

The events run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at First Christian Church at Seventh Avenue and Franklin Street. The moderator is Don Carlson, a former Republican state senator from Vancouver who now lives in Thurston County and has organized forums during previous legislative sessions and campaign cycles.

One goal of the health care series is to give people a chance to ask questions in civil ways.

“The emphasis is civil discourse. If they are going to be angry and create a hostile scene, I will have a bouncer,” Carlson joked. “Even in church, we’ll have a bouncer.”

Religious groups co-sponsoring the forums with First Christian Church are Interfaith Works, First Baptist Church, First United Church, Temple Beth Hatfiloh, St. Michael Catholic Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church and a new evangelical church, Reality.

Kreidler, a former Democratic congressman from the 9th district, a former state legislator and an optometrist, is scheduled to explain “the application of national health care to the state of Washington in general and Thurston county specifically.”

Carlson said there still are many questions to answer because federal reform still is in negotiation between the U.S. House and Senate. But he said he hopes the experts he brings in for the forums can explain how reforms can or should work.

Brad Shannon: 360-753-1688