Adopted by the General Assembly — October 1993
Two central ideas underlie the abiding Jewish commitment to provide health care to all of God’s children. The first is Judaism’s teaching that an individual human life is of infinite value and that the preservation of life supercedes almost all other considerations. We are constantly commanded “not to stand idly by the blood of our neighbors.” The second is the belief that God has endowed us with the understanding and ability to become partners with God in making a better world. The use of that wisdom to cure illnesses has been a central theme in Jewish thought and history.
Three health care obligations flow from these core values.
The provision of more affordable and more easily accessed health care in America has become a pressing matter for Reform Jews, who operate with a prophetic mandate to “do justly” and to provide for those in need. Our resolutions on “social insurance” for adequate health care date back to 1948, and on a single-payer approach to national health care, to 1975. In the current crisis of health care coverage and access, our commitment to health care leads us and our constituencies to adopt a set of principles regarding health care and to work in coalition with other groups seeking similar goals.
Therefore, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to:
Continue its support of the Interreligious Health Care Access Campaign, and reaffirm its support for the UAHC principles for health care reform, as summarized in the following paragraph:
We seek a national health care plan which grants universal access to health care benefits, including access to primary and acute health care, immunization services, early diagnostic and treatment programs, provider and consumer education, programs of extended care and rehabilitation, mental health, and health and wellness promotion. Such a program should provide for education, training, and re-training of health care workers as well as just compensation and affirmative action in hiring. An effective plan will provide for cost containment.” (IHAC Statement of Principles, Opening Paragraph).
Encourage congregations to continue their educational effort on the issue of health care, with a special focus on promoting advocacy by our congregations, their members, and UAHC affiliates of reform of the health care system embodying the principles of this resolution on both state and national levels.