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HEALTH CARE DECISION – Jews React: Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform

by Rabbi David Saperstein

June 29, 2012 | 2:06 pm

Rabbi David Saperstein released the following statement:

Today is a bright day for our nation, and, especially, for those whose access to health care is fragile. Today’s historic ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a victory for those whose believe, as we do, that health care is a fundamental right, and, especially given the lead opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, a victory for the court itself.

The ACA now still has the chance to help the nearly 40 million currently uninsured Americans receive coverage and the millions of underinsured see their situation improved.

For too long, the U.S. health care system has been plagued by injustices and inefficiencies. Today’s ruling ensures that the ACA will go forward and Americans will now have the chance to see the benefits the individual mandate can bring to their health, such as preventative and emergency care, affordable prescription drugs, and insurance despite pre-existing conditions. We are also pleased that the Medicaid expansion stands, helping lower-income individuals get the health care they deserve.

The ACA can now bring the health insurance system closer to reflecting our highest aspirations, not the lowest common denominator.

Our Reform congregations have been at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of health insurance reform in their states and at the national level. They have led the faith community’s call to heed the lesson of Maimonides, the revered medieval Jewish physician and scholar, who placed health care first on his list of the ten most important communal services that a city should offer its residents (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De’ot IV: 23). We are proud of the work they have done.

Today, the Supreme Court has spoken and spoken powerfully. Now our nation must move forward together.

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