RA Affirms Health Care as a Jewish Moral Imperative & Applauds Supreme Court Decision
NEW YORK – The Supreme Court today decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act. On behalf of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international umbrella organization for Conservative rabbis, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the RA’s executive vice president, and Rabbi Gerry Skolnik, RA president, released the following statement in response:
President Obama entered office on a message of hope for all Americans, modeled most clearly in the vision of affordable health care. Americans without access to affordable health care cannot sustain hope for themselves nor for their families. The President’s vision is consistent with Jewish tradition, which is unambiguous about the requirement of a just and decent society to provide a basic level of health care. We are gratified to see that American society, whose values we also cherish, also lives up to this standard.
As an international community of 1,600 Conservative rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly has been continuously supportive of universal health care. The 16th-century compilation of Jewish law, the Shulhan Arukh, states that where doctors reducing fees to care for the poor is not sufficient, the community must provide a fund. Consistent with this and many other related dicta in Jewish tradition, the Rabbinical Assembly passed resolutions on health care in 2002, 2008 and 2011, in support of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
All people deserve access to affordable and equitable healthcare coverage, and we join other people of faith in their staunch desire for a U.S health care system that offers health, wholeness and human dignity for all. Today’s decision brings us significantly forward on that moral path, and the members of the Rabbinical Assembly will continue to promote a system of health care that is inclusive, affordable, accessible and accountable.