Saperstein: “This overdue legislation will provide a much-needed safety net for our nation’s families who are struggling in the current economic crisis.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 4, 2009 – In response to today’s signing into law of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Today we celebrate the signing into law of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 and the expansion of health care coverage to over 4 million additional low-income children. This overdue legislation will provide a much-needed safety net for our nation’s families who are struggling in the current economic crisis.
This is a momentous day for children’s health care. We are inspired by our Jewish tradition, which teaches that, “By the breath of children, God sustains the world” (Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 119b). For more than a decade, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) has sustained our nation’s children by helping reduce their uninsured rate by almost a third. SCHIP provides essential access to quality, affordable, life-saving and preventative care to children in working families whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but still lack health coverage. By enacting this SCHIP renewal and expansion, we are investing in America’s future, ensuring that 11 million children, including legal immigrant children, receive the health care they deserve.
Our Movement’s commitment to universal healthcare is longstanding. For nearly two years, Reform Jews across the country called, emailed and visited their Members of Congress, urging the reauthorization and expansion of SCHIP so that more children in need could benefit from this essential program. We look forward to the day when all children and all Americans have access to affordable, comprehensive health care.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.