FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2021
WASHINGTON – In response to the decision by the United States Supreme Court in California v. Texas that the plaintiffs in the suit lack standing, thereby upholding the Affordable Care Act, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
We are glad that the Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs lacked to standing to file suit, thereby maintaining the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. We were proud to join amicus briefs in this case defending the Affordable Care Act against its third challenge at the Supreme Court and hope today’s ruling marks the conclusion of this shameful and ongoing attempt to overturn this life-saving law.
Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has significantly improved health access and outcomes across the United States. More than 31 million people have gained access to quality, affordable health care through new nationwide marketplaces, and 38 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid coverage to low-income adults. This historic law has also guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions; provided critical nondiscrimination protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community and people seeking reproductive care; ensured access to birth control and family planning services; provided coverage for mental health and substance use treatment; and allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
Judaism is clear about the importance of ensuring health care for all people. Revered Jewish scholar and physician Maimonides teaches that providing health care is not just an obligation of the doctor, but of society as well. For this reason, Maimonides places health care first on his list of the ten most important communal services a city must offer its residents if the city can be found worthy for a great scholar to live there.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted long-standing health inequities and demonstrated the importance of health care for all. As we celebrate today’s decision, we will continue to work for a just and equitable health care system that meets the needs of all people.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the social justice office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 850 congregations across North America encompass approximately 1.8 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.