In an open letter signed by 2,000 American Jews — including 126 clergy — the Shalom Center is urging Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) to "repent" and support a health care bill with a public option intact:
In our eyes, this is not the behavior of an “observant” Jew. “Tzedek tzedek tirdof, justice justice shall you seek,” is among the Torah’s most important commandments. And in pursuit of justice, no autonomous Jewish community has ever allowed the poor to go without healing. It is clear that the present health insurance system based on private insurance companies is broken in every aspect except assuring enormous profits to itself. It costs Americans the highest medical costs in the world while providing mediocre health care as measured by life expectancies, newborn death rates, and other indices across the developed world.
What, you say? Ain’t this behind us? Didn’t the Dems strip out the public option, and didn’t Joe then vote for cloture over the weekend, effectively ensuring passage of the bill?
Nuh-uh. Once the bill passes, and goes through the House-Senate conciliation process, there’s no guarantee it won’t come back with something resembling the public option — and Joe says he’ll do his best not to let it through in that case.