Jewish Groups Praise Court's Health Ruling

Call Decision a Step Towards Health Care for All

Tumult at Court: Supporters and opponents of President Obama’s health care law gather outside the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.
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Tumult at Court: Supporters and opponents of President Obama’s health care law gather outside the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.

By JTA

Published June 28, 2012.
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The U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts voting in the majority.

The Court upheld the most controversial provision of the law that required all American citizens to purchase health insurance or face a tax penalty. The court struck a provision that forced states to expand their Medicaid programs in order to cover health insurance for poverty-stricken individuals.

The decision was met with praise from some Jewish organizations.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said he was “elated” with the ruling.

Reform congregations, he said, have been “at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of health insurance reform in their states and at the national level.” He cited the medieval scholar Maimonides, noting that he “placed health care first on his list of the 10 most important communal services that a city should offer its residents.”

Hadassah said the ruling was “affirming our commitment to ensuring that all Americans have access to quality affordable health care.” The women’s group had signed an amicus brief supporting the Affordable Care Act.

National Democratic Jewish Council President David Harris and CEO Marc Stanley leaders David Harris and Marc Stanley released a joint statement saying the group was “deeply gratified by today’s ruling.”

“We are thankful that the Court affirmed the core constitutionality of this landmark legislation that will bring health care to tens of millions more Americans,” they wrote.

Rabbis for Human Rights-North America also applauded the decision in a statement, emphasizing that “it is our moral duty to provide health care for all.”

“We are proud that the United States has taken a major step toward guaranteeing health care for all,” RHR-NA said in its statement. “We applaud President Obama, the U.S. Congress, and the Supreme Court for moving us significantly closer to this ideal of guaranteeing health care for all Americans.”


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