“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?” --Jeremiah 8:22
JRF and our member communities have been actively supporting the need for healthcare reform in the United States. We will continue to join other Jewish religious movements and organizations to this end.
As people of faith, we envision a society where each person is afforded health, wholeness, and human dignity.
That vision as collectively articulated by the interfaith coalition Faithful Reform for Healthcare and the former "We Believe" interfaith action, embraces a system of health care that is inclusive... accessible... affordable... and accountable.
See the 2011 Faithful Reform letter to the White House JRF is a co-sgner on: http://www.faithfulreform.org/storage/frhc/vision/vision%26sigs.01.12.10.pdf
November 2009 Faithful Reform Interfaith Coalition Letter to Congress:
We urge you to support comprehensive health care reform legislation that:
§ includes a strong public health insurance option that is available on day one and in all states;
§ expands Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 150% of the federal poverty level;
§ prohibits pre-existing condition exclusions;
§ provides adequate subsidies for all individuals and families up to 400% of the federal poverty level and reasonable limits on annual out-of-pocket expenses for all people;
§ eliminates underwriting based on health status, age, gender or occupation;
§ provides legal immigrants with equal access to subsidies to help them purchase health insurance and allows undocumented immigrants to purchase their own health insurance through any insurance exchange offered;
§ eliminates the five-year waiting period for all legal immigrants to receive Medicaid and CHIP benefits;
§ includes all immigrant children and pregnant women, regardless of immigration status, in eligibility for Medicaid.
In June 2009, JRF joined 40 national faith organizations have come together to plan the largest faith-inspired mobilization to ever happen around health care reform. The mission statement for the "We Believe" Initiative reads:
US based health care must change now because the system is inefficient, costly, and most importantly, immoral.
We believe together in a health care future that is grounded in the sacred bonds of our common humanity, defined by compassion, especially for those who are most vulnerable, and reflective of faithful stewardship of our abundant health care resources.
Vision ~ Inclusive: Health care is a shared responsibility that is grounded in our common humanity. In the bonds of our human family, we are created to be equal. We are guided by a divine will to treat each person with dignity and to live together as an inclusive community. Affirming our commitment to the common good, we acknowledge our enduring responsibility to care for one another. As we recognize that society is whole only when we care for the most vulnerable among us, we are led to discern the human right to health care and wholeness. Therefore, we are called to act with compassion by sharing our abundant health care resources with everyone.
Vision ~ Affordable: Health care must contribute to the common good by being affordable for individuals, families and society as a whole. We believe that in the sacred act of creation we are endowed with the talents, wisdom and abundant resources necessary to meet the needs of one another, including the health care needs of all. Therefore, in our calling to be faithful stewards, we understand our responsibility to use our health care resources effectively, to administer them efficiently, and to distribute them with equity.
Vision ~ Accessible: All persons should have access to health services that provide necessary care and contribute to wellness. We believe humanity is sacred and that all persons should benefit from those actions which contribute to our health and wholeness. Therefore, we are called to act with justice and love, to ensure that all of us have access to the health care we need in order to live out the fullness of our potential both as individuals and as contributing members of our society. We must work together to identify and overcome all barriers to and disparities in such care.
Vision ~ Accountable: Our health care system must be accountable, offering a quality, equitable and sustainable means of keeping us healthy as individuals and as a community. We believe that as spiritual and sacred vessels, we are responsible for the care of our bodies to the best of our ability and for the care of one another regardless of individual circumstances. Therefore, individuals, families, governments, businesses, and the faith community are called to work in partnership for a system that ensures fully-informed, timely, quality and safe care that treats body, mind and spirit.
If you are involved in local actions or wish to share rituals, worship services or action intitiaves you have developed locally, please e-mail Rabbi Shawn Zevit so your holy initiatives can be added to our resources to inspire and educate others.
[This prayer was adapted and expanded for interfaith use from an anniversary litany "The Vision Beautiful: A Litany for the Anniversary of the Affordable Health Care Act" provided to us by Faithful Reform.]
O Holiness within and around us, thank you for those individuals and family members, faith leaders, doctors, nurses, other health care providers, hospitals and clinics, and chaplains who implement this law by helping us care for our bodies. May you continue to strengthen and guide them and us in efforts to offer health, wholeness, and human dignity to all.
As we continue through these days of public discourse about our health care future, grant us:
• the humility to learn from each other;
• the generosity to be faithful stewards of our abundant health care resources;
• and the compassion to put the needs of hurting people ahead of our political priorities and financial self-interests.
Let us continue to honor your divine intent for harmony and wholeness within creation by sharing with each other compassionate love and grace and by serving the well-being of the whole human family. Empower us with the strength for this journey, that our hearts and minds may be transformed for the common good. Amen.
o http://delicious.com/JRFtikkun/healthcare for additional resources.
o Resources for Sermons, Worship and more: http://www.faithfulreform.org/index.php/Worship/
o Jewish and Multifaith resources for Healthcare below and at www.jrf.org/tikkun-olam-issues
o Children's Prayer Service for Health Care http://jrf.org/files/Prayer%20Service%20for%20Children's%20Health%20Care.pdf
|June 24th Health Care Reform Prayer Service.doc||126 KB|
|June 24 Interfaith Service of Witness Prayer for Health Care For All.pdf||2.78 MB|