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Central Conference of American Rabbis

National Health Care Resolution (Excerpts)

June 1991

WHEREAS, the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1976 adopted a resolution favoring "A comprehensive national health insurance program . . . to cover prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation in all areas of health care," now

BE IT RESOLVED that the Central Conference of American Rabbis endorse the following Working Principles for Assessing National Health Care legislation prepared by the Health Working Group of the Interreligious Health Care Consultation.

SUMMARY: 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, equitable financing and assure quality of services.

Our first priority is access to primary and acute health care plus immunization services, early diagnostic and treatment programs, and provide and consumer education. Programs of extended care and rehabilitation and programs of mental are very important additions.

Working principles: "We the people of the United States" are confronted by a growing crisis in health care. As communities of faith, we are called to action in the face of such a challenge. While the United States spends more per person on health care than any other nation in the world, growing numbers of people cannot afford simple basic health care, let alone respond to catastrophic and chronic health needs. More than thirteen million children live in poverty; two of three are completely without medical insurance. Over fifteen percent of our people have no form of health coverage, thirty-seven million at any one time. In addition, sixty-five million are under-insured, exposed to out-of-pocket expenses which threaten family economic survival. Health care spending is the leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States. The accelerating AIDS crisis is straining health providers to the breaking point. American Business is disadvantaged in the world markets because of high health care costs.

A broadly shared concern for justice compels us to encourage new health care financing and coordination of delivery systems which better meet the needs of all people. Market strategies that serve only those able to pay are consistent with neither our religious principles nor our understanding of Commonwealth, as defined in the U.S. Constitution. Health care for all is ultimately a result of the basic principle of Justice for all, which must be the foundation upon which all attempts at reform are based.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we seek a national health care system that:

  1. serves everyone living in the United States.
  2. provides for the whole population of the nation comprehensive health care benefits, including: preventive services and health promotion, primary and acute care, mental health care, and extended care.
  3. draws financial support from the broadest possible resource base.
  4. guarantees access to care everywhere in the nation.
  5. sets prospective budgets for payments to health care institutions from federal funds in a way that assures services for all parts of a region.
  6. is sensitive to the needs of persons working in the various components of the health care system.
  7. provides quality service and payment processes based on principles of equity and efficiency.
  8. sets a national budget for health education and wellness promotion.
  9. promotes effective and safe innovation and research in medical techniques, research on the delivery of health services, and research on health practices of individuals and families.
  10. reduces the burden of malpractice litigation.
  11. significantly reduces the current rapid inflation in the costs of providing medical services.
  12. provides federal leadership in health promotion by assessing the health impacts of standard of living issues, housing, nutrition, physical fitness, environmental safety, and sanitation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis work simultaneously both to provide and ensure access to full health care for the employees of institutions, agencies and congregations in which we serve.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we convey to President Bush, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and members of Congress our hope that they will work diligently on behalf of the health and well-being of the citizens of our country by endorsing the working principles for assessing national health care legislation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Central Conference of American Rabbis become a member of the Interfaith Coalition on Health Care with a minimum donation of $1,000 to the Interfaith Coalition on Health Care.

Faithful Reform in Health Care ~ P.O. Box 6174 ~ Wilson, NC 27894-6174 ~ 1-888-863-8910