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August 20, 2009

The Facts: Health Insurance Reform

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, Fact Sheets

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An estimated 47 million Americans are already without health insurance, and every day 14,000 more lose their coverage. In the last 10 years, premiums have doubled, out-of-pocket costs have increased by a third, and deductibles have continued to rise.  The need for health insurance reform is imperative.

The Jewish Community has spoken out for health insurance reform as a priority

“Our tradition teaches us to pursue justice. Yet it is not a just society when families are forced to choose between paying their mortgages or paying for prescription drugs. It is not a just society when small businesses must choose between being profitable or providing coverage to their employees. It is not a just society when people are denied health insurance because they have a pre-existing condition for which they need medical care. Equal access to safe and affordable health care is an essential social justice issue of our time.”
- Rabbis for Health Insurance Reform, 8/11/09

“[N]ow is the time for the Jewish community to act upon shared principles in health care…. It is a historic moment, and we believe the community should play a leading role in these endeavors.”
- Hadar Susskind, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and William C. Daroff UJC/Jewish Federations of North America, 5/25/09

“Providing health care is not just an obligation for the patient and the doctor, but for society as well. It is for this reason that Maimonides, a revered Jewish scholar, listed health care first on his list of the ten most important communal services that a city had to offer to its residents (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De’ot IV: 23).”
 - Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
“Thousands of Americans have turned out this August to meet their representatives and discuss the pros and cons of reform. Determined opponents of reform have turned out to prevent those discussions from happening. Too often, they have succeeded. Decent citizens nationwide have been denied their rights by mobs of bullies … But the guilt isn’t evenly distributed. Anti-reform bullies invent imaginary crimes and call them Nazi-like.”
- The Forward, Editorial, 8/12/09

More than 100 Jewish groups sent a letter to Congress stating that they “applaud President Obama’s pledge to fix our broken health care system and his commitment to safeguarding funding for the most vulnerable members of our society during these unprecedented economic times.” 
 - JTA, 3/19/09

Obama has committed to comprehensive health insurance reform which will control rising health care costs, guarantee choice of doctor, and assure high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans

“If you don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. You will not be waiting in any lines. This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health care decisions but you and your doctor — not government bureaucrats, not insurance companies.”
 - Obama’s op-ed in The New York Times, 8/15/09

“We are not a nation that lets hard working families go without coverage, or turns its back on those in need.  We’re a nation that cares for its citizens.  We look out for one another.  That’s what makes us the United States of America.  We need to get this done.”
- Obama’s speech to the American Medical Association, 6/15/09

With the rising cost of health care, it is important we act now for health insurance reform

“The disgrace that is America’s health care system, with its millions of uninsured, runaway costs and arbitrary, profit-driven decision-making, has finally met its match in the disgrace that is America’s health care debate.”
 - The Forward, Editorial, 8/12/09

“The cost of our health care is a threat to our economy. It’s an escalating burden on our families and businesses. It’s a ticking time bomb for the federal budget. And it is unsustainable for the United States of America.”
-Obama’s speech to the American Medical Association, 6/15/09

We must have a health care system that is affordable, has a variety of options, and is available to all Americans

“We will put an end to these practices. Our reform will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of your medical history. Nor will they be allowed to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.”
 - Obama’s op-ed in The New York Times, 8/15/09

“If you don’t like your health coverage or don’t have any insurance, you will have a chance to take part in what we’re calling a Health Insurance Exchange…. You will have your choice of a number of plans that offer a few different packages.”
- Obama’s speech to the American Medical Association, 6/15/09

Updated: August 20, 2009