June 2008

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• Hypocrisy Express
• Path to Dialog
• Wright and Wrong
• SciFi Author Meet Pres.
• Letters to the Editor

Israel 60
• Barack Obama
• Kenneth Bob
• Marne Joan Rochester
• M.J. Rosenberg

In Their Own Words
• Bob Roggio

Media Watchpost
• Jews on First
• Jewish Exponent

Networking Central
• Golden Slipper

• Israel 60 Parade
• Housing or Warehousing?
• Praying With Lior
• The Counterfeiters

Raising A Mensch
• Six Outstanding Values

Living Judaism
• Bernstein's Kaddish
• Auschwitz Torah

The Kosher Table
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News and Opinion

Letters to the Editor

Under The Magnifying Glass

At some point we need to stop dissecting each and every pro-Jewish/pro-Israel stance and every single anti-Jewish/anti-Israel stance (however one defines these stances) that have been taken out of context and massaged beyond all recognition and ask ourselves: Based on what we know of Senator Barack  Obama from all that we have seen and heard, and not from carefully cherry-picked out of context snippets, who is this guy? When I ask myself that question I find that I trust him (and Senator Hillary Clinton) on things close to me like Israel. See Leon Wieseltier's Oybama piece in The New Republic.

-- Rabbi Avi Winokur, Society Hill Synagogue, Philadelphia, PA

Dying For Health Care

In a recent Frontline program, Sick Around the World, Prof. Karl Lauterbach had this to say about the US health care system, "The U.S. has a system [that] does have a poor cost-benefit ratio. I mean, 40 million people lack insurance; another 30 [million] or so are underinsured. The people who are insured do have to worry whether they are able to pay the bills. People become bankrupt because they cannot pay the medical bills, and there are vast differences in the quality of care depending on how much you are prepared and able to pay. I think the system is not working well."

This comes on the heels of the reports made available by Families USA, that show how many people are expected to die in each state each week because they don't have health coverage.

In Pennsylvania, for example, nearly two working age Pennsylvanians die each day due to lack of health insurance (approximately 710 people in 2006). Between 2000 and 2006, an estimated 4,800 Pennsylvanians between the ages of 25 and 64 died because they did not have health insurance. The report notes, "Uninsured Pennsylvanians are sicker and die sooner than their insured counterparts."

Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians are waiting for our Senators to pass >SB 1137, which would create Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care (ABC). ABC would provide subsidized insurance for adults with a family income of 200 percent of the federal poverty line. The ABC program would include coverage for prescription drugs, preventive and wellness care, and chronic-disease management.

SB 1137 is about expanding access to health care in Pennsylvania. There is no question the time for affordable health care for all Pennsylvanians is long overdue.

For those Pennsylvanians without health insurance, Prof. Lauterbach points out, "we're just another poor country." As Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, said, "a lack of health coverage is a matter of life and death for many people."

-- Seth Goldstein and Rosalind Spigel, Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee

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Editor-in-chief Ben Burrows editor @ pjvoice.com.

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