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Saperstein: We ask you to reconsider your position and use this opportunity to make an investment in our nation’s future by signing the SCHIP bill into law.
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Washington, D.C.: October 1, 2007 - In a letter sent today, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, urged President Bush to rescind his veto threat and sign legislation reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The full text of the letter follows:
Dear President Bush,
I write on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, encompassing over 900 congregations across North America, with a membership of 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis, to urge you to sign the bill reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Since 1997, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program has provided 6.6 million children across America with much-needed health care. The strong bipartisan votes in favor of the SCHIP bill in both the House and Senate reflect Congress’s urgent desire to ensure the health of America’s children. Your threat to veto this legislation, which will provide affordable and accessible health care to 10 million children, puts the future of children’s health care in jeopardy. We ask you, therefore, to reconsider your position and use this opportunity to make an investment in our nation’s future by signing the SCHIP bill into law.
Without your signature on this bill, one million children will lose health care coverage that they currently enjoy. With your signature, 4 million children, who would otherwise be uninsured, will gain coverage. These children will have opportunities to establish relationships with primary care physicians, access dental and mental health care, and obtain much-needed medical attention. Signing this bill is a most effective way to improve the lives of America’s children.
The Jewish tradition teaches, “Do not neglect the children of the poor, for from them will go forth the Law”(Nedarim 81). In this spirit, we hope that you will follow the lead of Congress and the will of the American people and commit to sustaining our children by enacting this legislation and providing them with brighter, better and healthier futures.
Rabbi David Saperstein