04 November 2009

This is bad, very bad

Healthcare provision seeks to embrace prayer treatments -- latimes.com
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."

Well, as Kevin Drum says, "It's true that not everything that seems like a slippery slope really is one, but this really is one. If it passes, can you imagine how this would play out among the Colorado Springs set within a few years? The mind reels."  Yeah, every religious group out there will be in looking for their piece of the prayer-healing pie.  The good news?  Nancy Pelosi stripped a similar provision out of the House bill, based on concerns it wasn't constitutional.  Good for her.  Let's hope she sticks to her guns on that point in conference committee.



  1. These Christian Science "practitioners" already get paid by medicare. No joke. My husbands family are Christian Scientists and let me tell you...they either die or I end up rescuing them with last ditch medical care when their problems are truly dire. His sister got septic with a ruptured appy for 1 week (saved!). His father was septic with a huge renal stone and almost died. Heroic save. A friend had a compound ankle fracture that was "prayed" over until it was gangreen. Another 56 year old "practitioner" died at home of "something" after everyone prayed for weeks. They aren't curious at all about why he died and no autopsy was done.

    This is just one small sample of the people I know. I used to be open minded until I experienced this bizarre religion.

    To think that they would be reimbursed with healthcare dollars is absolutely unconscionable.

    I feel so devalued as a primary care Internist with all of my skills and training. This demoralizes me more.

  2. Healthcare Observer11/04/2009 9:35 AM

    'A supremely good and intelligent God would not have created a man who right from the beginning was vulnerable to illness and bodily defect, and the fact is that God did not create such a man. Therefore sickness is not a hopeless reality that has a right to overwhelm and destroy or that operates according to a genuine law of the universe. It is a lie and an unreality, without basis in God’s law of good. Because Christian Science treatment specifically opposes what is a lie, it uplifts thought so that one can become conscious of divine Truth, and this has a healing effect.'

    Ker-ching! That'll be $1000 please.

  3. THIS is the problem when govt gets involved - it is always subject to lobbying and special interest groups. It is the nature of the beast.

    If govt would simply set basic rules and regulations (standards) and enforce them - like umpires in football - then, this nonsense could not happen. When govt directly or indirectly, controls the money, you end up with this crapola - and I suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    As difficult as dealing with insurance companies is, at least we have some choices - and we could have lots more if they could have interstate access.

    If you advocate for govt healthcare reform, you must, as a thinking being, understand you get the special interest group effect and all its distortions.

    Our system is catering to the good of the few over the good of the many. Very sad.

  4. This just caused me to have diarrhea and vomit at the same time.

  5. Sick and tired of right-wingers like Kerry and Kennedy imposing their theocratic agenda on the country.

  6. WTF?

    So I'm a Christian and I pray for my patients (not Christian Scientist mind you) but I'm not about to try and bill for it!

    If God helps out the healing process we should assume He is working for free. With all the talk about the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in this country why would we want to pay for prayer? We should pray for free.

    God is going to seriously be pissed off if if people bill medicare for talking to Him!

  7. As if we do not already have enough problems with medicine. I am surprised that Sen. Tom Harkin had nothing to do with this.

    It is bad enough that Christian Scientists (and their clones) cripple and kill their children by choosing prayer rather than medicine, but they think they should be paid, too.

  8. I just threw up a little in my mouth. I second the doc who was disgusted that anyone should ask for payment for prayer.

    Though in my case it's because as a treatment, prayer has been studied and found to be worse than placebo. If it was s drug, it would not have been approved, so, no, not buying in.

  9. there goes more money..hey while we're at it why don't we throw in Haitian witch doctors, Tribal Indian witch doctors,official Wican warlocks,and anyone else who has a religious cure based on faith!!Its called giving credibility to those who don't have credibility by giving them money for services not rendered..Oh and you might as well throw in psychics,palm readers and tarot readers into that too..
    If Nostradamus was alive now he'd see nothing but $$$$$$$$$$$.
    I wonder how much the Christin science lobbyists hooked up those two nutjobs in congress?? I always love it when Congresmen all of a sudden get a hair up their respective asses for some trivial reason-which is usually so far left field that you'd need a fisherman's net to reel it in just to look at it twice. To those who agree with the Christian scientists, may I suggest asking someone to smack you upside your head because obviously your parents' prayers were never answered..


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