Fight the Hardening of Hearts Against Health Reform
As Congress reopens the debate on health care, we can take comfort from our Torah portion this week. We know that some battles are hard fought and take time. The Jews don’t simply leave Egypt – there are 10 plagues, and, too often, Pharaoh changes his mind.
The Jewish vision of a just society is clear. The lack of universal health care in our nation often determines who will live and who will die (echoes of our High Holy Day liturgy). To repeal the health care provisions so recently passed would be akin to Pharaoh changing his mind, hardening his heart. To repeal the health care provisions would lead us on a path away from our vision of a just society that provides inclusive, accessible, affordable and accountable healthcare for all Americans.
Do we really want children denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions? Do we really believe that insurance companies should be able to cancel coverage when a policyholder becomes ill – or exceeds a lifetime cap on coverage? Should our children up to age 26 live without health care coverage? Repealing the health care provisions would do just that.
The battle for a just society is an ongoing battle. The battle for health care is a continuing battle. As Congress reopens this debate, we need to stand firm. Our actions will determine who will live and who will die.
Rabbi Don Goor is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Judea in Tanzana, CA, and a member of the Reform Movement’s Commission on Social Action, a joint instrumentality of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis with a membership comprising clergy and lay leaders representing synagogues across North America.