Urge Congress to support Medicare for All

America’s health care system is broken. Millions lack insurance and quality care is unaffordable for millions more. Families skip doctors’ visits or are forced to choose between paying their rent and medical bills. In the face this of this unacceptable status quo, The Medicare for All Act offers a solution. The bill would ensure that all Americans could access quality health care, regardless of employment status, ability to pay, or previous medical conditions. It would cover a wide range of medical services currently covered by Medicare.

Now is the time for Congress to take bold action and ensure that every American can access the medical services they need. Urge your members of Congress to support reintroduction of the Medicare for All Act (H.R. 1384/S.1129 in the 116th Congress) in the 117th Congress.

The Medicare for All Act seeks to address the fundamental inequities and inefficiencies that have plagued the United States’ health care system for decades. The current employment-based model excludes millions who do not receive insurance from their employer, and the insurance-company driven market does not prioritize patients in need of care.

The Reform Movement has long believed that a universal, single-payer health care program would best serve the needs of all Americans. The URJ’s 1975 resolution on health care called for a “national comprehensive prepaid single-benefit standard health insurance with no deductible to cover prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation in all fields of health care.” In addition to providing the benefits offered in the current Medicare program, Medicare for All would cover long-term services like those currently offered in Medicaid and would provide abortion services, effectively ending the federal prohibition commonly known as the Hyde Amendment

The Movement has also been a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act—in its development, during the enrollment and implementation phase, and throughout the multitude of attacks on this imperfect but important law. The ACA made great strides in moving us towards a just and equitable health care system. But current conditions—including constant attacks on the ACA—mean that 44% of Americans skip doctor visits because of the cost and that the United States spends twice as much on health care as other high-income countries. Medicare for All is the next step forward in guaranteeing that all Americans can access quality, affordable care.

Jewish Values

Our Jewish tradition teaches that God did not divide creation between the sick and the well, the working and the employed, people who can afford health care and those who cannot, or those who are entitled to health care and those who are not. God created all of us, endowed us with equal rights, and charged us with the responsibility to be partners in the act of healing.  It is for this reason that health care is listed by Maimonides among the ten most important communal services that had to be offered by a city to its residents (Mishneh Torah, Sefer Hamadda IV:23). During the long history of self-governing Jewish communities, nearly all set up societies to ensure that all their citizens had access to health care. Doctors were required to reduce their rates for poor patients and, where that was not sufficient, communal subsidies were established (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 249:16; Responsa Ramat Rahel of Rabbi Eliezer Waldernberg sections 24-25).

For More Information

You can email your elected officials through our form or call the Capital Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak directly with their offices.

For more information on this issue, visit the RAC’s health care page or contact Senior Legislative Assistant Jacob Greenblatt at jgreenblatt@rac.org. 

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