Health Reform Bill to Allow Insurance Payments For Prayer Healings
Via Kevin Drum, I have learned that current Senate version of the health reform bill would provide for insurance payments for Christian Science prayer treatments–and probably other “spiritual” treatments as well.
Reporting from Washington – Backed by some of the most powerful members of the Senate, a little-noticed provision in the healthcare overhaul bill would require insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments as medical expenses.
The provision was inserted by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) with the support of Democratic Sens. John F. Kerry and the late Edward M. Kennedy, both of Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist.
The measure would put Christian Science prayer treatments — which substitute for or supplement medical treatments — on the same footing as clinical medicine. While not mentioning the church by name, it would prohibit discrimination against “religious and spiritual healthcare.”
Ugh. You know, it’s bad enough that insurance companies are already wasting money paying for quack treatments like chiropractic “adjustments” and acupuncture, but this isn’t just the camel’s nose under the tent–it’s the camel in the tent, spitting and defecating over everything.
If we’re going to be serious about controlling health care costs, we have to stop covering quack treatments just because they might make people “feel better.” Chiropractors, acupuncturists, homeopathists, faith healers, reflexologists and the rest of that pseudoscientific lot are committing fraud: they claim they can heal, but they cannot.
It’s bad enough that we allow them to practice at all. It’s terrible that some insurance companies are idiotic enough to pay for such treatments. It is a derogation of the governments’ duty to its citizens that some states license these trades. But evolving a national health care system that preserves this quackery in law and ensures they get taxpayer dollars is absolutely criminal.
One of the few roles of government that I think folks from every political stripe can agree on is that the government should protect citizens from fraud. It’s not supposed to help people perpetrate fraud.
(cross posted to Heretical Ideas)