Resolution on Health Care

Whereas Jewish law mandates that the community provide affordable health care, as evidenced in a responsum on Medical Issues: “It has been enacted that in every place in which Jews live, the community sets aside a fund for care of the sick.  When poor people are ill and cannot afford medical expense, the community sends them a doctor to visit them, and the medicine is paid for by the communal fund.” (Tzitz Eliezer [Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg, 20th century halakhic scholar]);

Whereas the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement passed a teshuvah (responsum): “Responsibilities for the Provision of Health Care” in 1998 that concluded, “The community bears ultimate responsibility to assure provision of needed health care for individuals who cannot afford it, as a matter of justice as well as a specific halakhic obligation.”;

Whereas on January 19, 2011, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill, entitled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act (H.R. 2),” which sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act; a measure which the United States Senate rejected in a vote taken on February 2, 2011.  In addition, nearly two-dozen federal lawsuits have been filed trying to block portions of the Affordable Care Act;

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly has consistently resolved to support health care reform (2002 and 2008);

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly is a member of the Faithful Reform in Health Care Coalition and has endorsed its statement “in support of quality and affordable health care for all because we see it as a moral calling”; and

Whereas the Affordable Care Act will give Americans new rights and benefits, “including helping more children get health coverage, ending lifetime and most annual limits on care, and giving patients access to recommended preventive services without cost sharing.” (

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010;

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly applaud the United States Senate for upholding the Affordable Health Care Act and express its disappointment that the United States House of Representatives passed “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”; and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly encourage the United States Congress to continue to promote a system of health care that is inclusive, affordable, accessible and accountable.

Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, March, 2011