Jewish Renewal Rabbis, Cantors Support Supreme Court ACA Decision

— by Rabbi Edi Stafman and Rabbi Pam Frydman

In response to the Supreme Court Decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Board of Directors of OHALAH, the trans-denomination Jewish Renewal association that includes over 180 rabbis and cantors from all streams of Jewish life, released the following statement:

The historic ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(ACA) is a victory for those who believe, as we do, that health care is a fundamental human right. The ACA has the chance to help the nearly forty million currently uninsured Americans receive coverage and the millions of underinsured who will see their situation improved. It is our hope that this decision will help remedy and heal the injustices and inefficiencies in the United States health care system, by guaranteeing preventative and emergency care, affordable prescription drugs, and insurance despite pre-existing conditions, among other benefits. 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 spiritual aspirations.

It is also our hope and prayer that this decision, although decided by a divided court, will begin to allow for healing of the deep divisions in the United States that this issue has caused, and allow us as a nation to work together towards our common goals and solving our common challenges.

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  1. Lynn Zeitlan says

    — by Lynn Zeitlin

    The Jewish Social Policy Action Network (JSPAN) is thrilled that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, most specifically the mandate for individuals to buy health insurance. The reasoning used in Chief Justice Roberts’ decision is totally consistent with the argument we presented in our amicus brief- specifically that the mandate and penalty are essentially a tax, which Congress has the constitutional right to impose. This is an important step in providing high quality, affordable health care for all Americans. The ACA, whose implementation depended on the mandate in exchange for the health insurance industry’s agreement to stop using pre-existing conditions to deny coverage or make it unaffordable, will now progress to create manifold other changes in the health
    insurance and health delivery systems. JSPAN will remain vigilant in assuring the implementation of the Act, including the national and state levels.

    We will keep our members informed about the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s acceptance of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid to families earning up to 133% of the poverty level, almost entirely with federal funding, potentially insuring 500,000 more Pennsylvanians, and will monitor the state’s establishment of its Health Care Exchange starting in 2014.”L

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