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Reform Movement Leader Decries House Passage of the American Health Care Act

Reform Movement Leader Decries House Passage of the American Health Care Act

For Immediate  Release
May 4, 2017

Contact: Max Rosenblum or Graham Roth
818.304.4551 | news@rac.org

Press Release from the Religious Action Center

WASHINGTON — In response to the House of Representatives’ passage of the American Health Care Act, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis and wider Reform Movement:

We are deeply disheartened by the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House of Representatives, legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cost millions of people access to the quality, affordable health care that should be a right. This reverses the tremendous progress that has been made in recent years to increase the number of Americans with health insurance. We urgently call on the Senate to reject this profoundly harmful legislation.

The stakes could not be higher. While Congress is rushing through this reckless legislation without an evaluation from the Congressional Budget Office, the last CBO scoring of the bill estimated that 24 million Americans would lose coverage by 2026 under the AHCA. Many of these losses would stem from an $840 billion cut to Medicaid—a measure that would force people with disabilities and low-income children and families into particularly perilous circumstances. The legislation also removes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and allows insurance companies to provide health plans with insufficient coverage. Leaving millions of people without health care would be a moral failure.

We are inspired by the example set over many centuries in Jewish tradition, which instructs communities to provide health care to their inhabitants (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De'ot IV: 23). Health care is a core aspect of a society of equality and justice. We are not deterred in our pursuit of affordable, high-quality health care for all Americans, and we remain committed to creating a world in which no one has to choose between their health and their financial stability.

We strongly oppose the AHCA, and we call on all Senators to reject this reckless and irresponsible legislation that would harm millions of Americans. 


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 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.

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