September 2009

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News and Opinion

Letters to the Editor

47 Million Uninsured, and Counting...

Moses Maimonides, the great 12th century medieval legal scholar, philosopher and doctor, codifies ten requirements for a town so that a talmid hacham, a wise person, can live there. First on the list is a doctor — fundamentally, a society must provide health care for its citizens before any other work can begin. Without the physical health of a society, there is no productivity.

The issue of the health care has been on the front page of the paper pretty much every day for the past months. We have seen and heard the words “disaster” and “crisis” so much that perhaps they no longer have any meaning. But there is no doubt that the American system of health care does not provide the protection that so many people need. And it is a need. People are suffering.

The statistics are overwhelming. 47 million, including 9 million children, are uninsured. But statistics wash over us and numbers cannot chronicle human suffering. The price of health care cripples families, driving people into debt, robbing them of their standard of living, their retirement and even their children's financial stability. Is there anyone that does not know the story of a person who could not get insurance because of a “pre-existing” condition?

Health is the great equalizer in society. Health is the great equalizer in society. We urge our Pennsylvania Representatives to pass comprehensive health care reform so we can get back to building a productive community.

-- Jeff Hornstein, President, Phila Jewish Labor Committeebi Reba Carmel
Rabbi Meryl Crean
Rabbi Ilanit Goldberg Rabbinical Student RRC
Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Hermann
Rabbi Alan Lapayover
Rabbi Robert S. Leib
Rabbi Michael Ramberg
RabbiDavid Teutsch
Josh Jacobs-Veld, Rabbinical Student RRC, Philadelphia, PA

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Editor-in-chief Ellen G. Witman editor @ pjvoice.com.

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