CCAR Statement on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

Central Conference of American Rabbis Statement on

the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

The Central Conference of American Rabbis opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 as proposed by the majority leadership in the United States Senate Thursday and urges the Senate to reject or substantially alter it so that coverage is made more accessible rather than less. We are pleased to join a wide array of Jewish organizations brought into coalition by our Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism to oppose this assault on American health care.

In the words of CCAR Responsum 5770.5, grounded in traditional Jewish legal text, “The responsibility for making sure that medical care is available to all and that physicians are justly compensated for their work rests ultimately with the government, which is entrusted with the maintenance of public health and safety.”

The bill proposed Thursday, like the American Health Care Act approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, would deprive Americans of access to quality care. It would particularly harm low-income Americans who depend on Medicaid, who could be forced to choose between bankruptcy and imperiling their health. This Senate proposal would rob the poor to benefit the wealthy, redirecting Medicaid funds to tax cuts for our nation’s privileged few.

In March, the CCAR Board called for any replacement of the Affordable Care Act to include, among other conditions:

1. Continuation of Medicaid as a public, single-payer health insurance program, with significant standards delineated by the Federal Government, for low-income Americans, as well as those with disabilities or requiring long term care.

2. Expansion of Medicaid to cover all Americans living at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level in all 50 states.

3. Mandating parity for women’s health care services, including contraceptive coverage.

4. Guaranteeing equity in coverage for mental health care and treatment of substance abuse disorders.

5. Maintaining laws that require CMS to include all qualified providers, including Planned Parenthood, as authorized providers under Medicare and Medicaid.

The proposal before the Senate violates all of these principles. We urge Senators to reject this proposal, and to work toward a better solution of our nation’s health care challenges.

Rabbi David E. Stern  Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President  Chief Executive


Central Conference of American Rabbis