Since biblical times, Jewish tradition finds a profound value in the preservation of health and life of all individuals. We recognize that to save a life is as if to save an entire world. For decades, the JCPA has been dedicated to improving the American healthcare system and Medicaid in particular. Medicaid is our nation’s health care safety net, the only source of health care coverage for 47 million Americans, including working families, low-income children, seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities. Of critical importance to the Jewish community is the extensive funding that Medicaid provides for low-income seniors, especially for nursing home care. Because Medicaid is funded jointly by states and the federal government and represents a significant part of each state’s budget, recent state fiscal crises have added to problems with financing the Medicaid program.
In the 109th Congress we anticipate that there will once again be efforts to restructure and reduce funding in the Medicaid program. The JCPA takes this opportunity to reaffirm our historic commitment to the appropriate funding of Medicaid as an entitlement program and our opposition to funding Medicaid through block grants to the states.
Commensurate with JCPA’s Confronting Poverty initiative, the community relations field should:
- Join other advocates in opposing devolving Medicaid to the states;
- Support the federal and state governments’ obligation to assure adequate and affordable health care coverage, including prescription drug benefits, for all individuals and families, in need;
- Opposes efforts to cut, cap and block grant Medicaid;
- Oppose legislative efforts that might end the Medicaid entitlement;
- Encourage agencies and governmental departments to explore alternatives, which will provide needed Medicaid services more effectively.