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This Week Marks Key Turning Point in Health Care Debate

Pelavin: "We look forward to a thoughtful debate on how to ensure that reform rests on a financially sustainable foundation, providing people with the care they need when they need it while controlling costs."

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jill Zimmerman
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2009 - Following President Obama's historic speech at the Annual Conference of the American Medical Association, the release of a draft health care reform proposal in the House of Representatives, emerging bill language in the Senate Finance Committee, and the beginning of mark-up in the Senate House, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

"Today we mark a week that has illustrated both the great possibilities and the great challenges that lie ahead as we strive to overhaul our nation's broken health care system. We welcome President Obama's message of shared responsibility and collective collaboration, and applaud his commitment to reducing health care costs, protecting and increasing consumers' choices, and assuring access to quality, affordable health care for all.

As leadership in both the House and Senate move forward with crafting legislation, it is clear they share a commitment to comprehensive health care reform. We applaud the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, led by Senator Edward Kennedy, for its leadership in introducing a promising draft bill and beginning mark-up on Wednesday. Additionally, the draft proposal in the House, released today by the historic alliance of Committee Chairmen Henry Waxman, Charles Rangel and George Miller, offers the promise of significant progress in expanding health coverage to millions of Americans while also protecting vulnerable, low-income populations.

We look forward to a thoughtful debate on how to ensure that reform rests on a financially sustainable foundation, providing people with the care they need when they need it while controlling costs.

Jewish tradition teaches, "Whoever is in pain, lead him to the physician" (Baba Kamma 46B). By passing comprehensive health care reform, we have the opportunity to provide millions of American families with affordable, effective and much-needed health care. We thank President Obama, Representatives Waxman, Rangel and Miller, and Senators Kennedy and Baucus, for their deep commitment to ensuring that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health care they need and deserve."

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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



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