FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2019
Reform Jewish Movement Denounces Decision Weakening the Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON – In response to the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Texas v. U.S. to strike down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and return the case to a lower court for further review, 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 on American Rabbis and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
“Yesterday’s decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals invalidating the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate moves our country one step closer to a health care disaster. Although the law remains intact while judicial review continues, this ongoing assault on the ACA is a shameful disservice to Americans in every state, sowing fear that essential health care will be taken away or become simply unaffordable.
“Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law nearly ten years ago, 27 million Americans have gained health insurance through marketplaces, and 37 states plus the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act has also extended critical nondiscrimination protections to members of the LGBTQ community and people seeking reproductive care; ensured coverage for substance use disorder treatment and mental health services; guaranteed coverage for people with preexisting conditions, and allowed young people to remain on their parent’s private insurance until age 26. The ongoing attempt to overturn the ACA harms the most vulnerable among us.
“Jewish tradition teaches that providing health care is not merely an obligation for doctors but for our entire society as well. For this reason, revered Jewish scholar Maimonides lists 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 Fifth Circuit’s decision threatens this sacred mandate. We will continue to fight for the Affordable Care Act and ensure that all people can access quality, affordable care.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 850 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.