Saperstein: By expanding coverage to millions of Americans, the Affordable Care Act ensures that no Americans will be hindered by a lack of health coverage in their achievement of dignity and fulfillment.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27, 2012 - On this, the second day of three the Supreme Court has devoted to oral arguments surrounding the constitutionality of the landmark heath care reform law signed by President Obama in 2010, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Today, as the Supreme Court Justices hear oral arguments in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the cacophony of voices rallying outside are rising to a fever pitch. Yet the moral foundation of the law addresses the plight of the silent masses who for too long have lived without the coverage they deserve.
Access to affordable health care, including preventative and emergency care, is a fundamental human right. A mother should not have to choose between preventive health services and rent payment. A senior should not have to pay for costly prescription drugs and worry about depleting his or her savings. Lack of insurance should not prevent a child from maturing into a healthy adult. By expanding coverage to millions of Americans, the Affordable Care Act ensures that no Americans will be hindered by a lack of health coverage in their achievement of dignity and fulfillment.
In support of the law, the Union for Reform Judaism proudly signed-on to two briefs: one arguing for the constitutionality of the individual mandate and another arguing in favor of the law's expansion of Medicaid, which helps more low-income individuals get the health care they deserve.
Jewish tradition has long advocated broad access to health services. Maimonides, the revered medieval Jewish physician and scholar, listed health care first on his list of the ten most important communal services that a city should offer its residents (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De'ot IV: 23). As the Supreme Court continues its deliberations over the Affordable Care Act, we remain inspired by our tradition and teachings and will continue to raise our voices on behalf of this law; for everyone in our communities, young and old, ill and well, is benefited by this legislation.