Maybe We Can Have Prayer Treatments Instead of Reproductive Care?

There are many reasons I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the conference on health care reform.

But chief among those is to see how (whether) they’re going to justify paying for “health care” for the Christian Scientists while denying reproductive care for millions of women.

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.”

Granted, both the Stupak Amendment and payment for Christian Scientist prayer may be removed in conference.

But I’d really like to see how Orrin Hatch, say, tried to explain skewing healthcare in this country only to meet the demands of religion, no matter how wacky, even while denying the care choices of millions of religious and non-religious women. And, frankly, I’d love to see what the courts think about it. Because once you’re making laws to protect the Christian Scientists all the while crafting your bill to meet the demands of the Catholic Bishops, you’ve got a very interesting Church/State separation question on hand.

Update: Church of Christ, Scientist  v. scientology correction per joejoejoe.

17 replies
  1. cinnamonape says:

    So lemme see…does this mean that a church could assert that it is providing “spiritual healthcare” and submit insurance claims. That’s a nice scam to bolster the coffers of the religious institutions in this country. No wonder the Catholic Bishops were so “pro-health care”.

    But allow a woman to put in a request for payment for an abortion from an authentic doctor…No WAY!

  2. Hmmm says:

    What I want to know is: Who is rallying women, right now, to band together and collect massive funds to expel the Stupak Amendment through sheer force of cash? This is doable. Time for the lionesses of the Women’s Movement to rise up and roar.

    • fatster says:

      Pelosi called RC Bishops and consulted with them before gathering up the pro-choice members of the House, serving them cheeseburgers and telling them the decision on abortion funding.

      First Amendment? Oh, well.

      Women’s rights? Pffffffft.


  3. person1597 says:

    What would Mary Baker Eddy say?

    Sickness is more than fancy; it is solid conviction. It
    is therefore to be dealt with through right ap-
    prehension of the truth of being. If Christian healing
    is abused by mere smatterers in Science, it becomes a
    tedious mischief-maker. Instead of scientifically effect-
    ing a cure, it starts a petty crossfire over every cripple
    and invalid, buffeting them with the superficial and cold
    assertion, “Nothing ails you.”

    I can’t imagine the government insurers setting standards and negotiating rates for CS practitioners. As EW points out, the church-state separation dissolves.

    The intent to seem “inclusive” wrt to alternative treatments is well-meaning but falls far short of the mark when basic doctor-provided services are excluded.

    It would be far more useful for the feds to grow pot and use the proceeds to fund free clinics.

    Government, heal thyself!!

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    EW, without going into details, I am convinced that most of the Stupak supporters in Congress have no clue about the health effects of breast cancer and pregnancy. (Because of hormone changes triggered by pregnancy, the implications for a young woman who has had breast cancer on her overall health if she becomes pregnant are not the same as those for a woman who has no history of breast cancer).
    I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Stupak and his buddies are not coming to terms with the growing rates of breast cancers, particularly in younger women.
    They are clueless.

    Their stupidity is just breathtaking.
    And chilling.

    Strangely, Harry Reid should have some idea about this.
    Here’s hoping that someone hands him a copy of Terry Tempest William’s “Refuge”. And soon.

  5. JohnnyTable70 says:

    There is such a thing as a medically necessary abortion. I know a friend who was once pregnant w/ twins…One had no heartbeat and soon after so did the other fetus. Keeping the dead fetus’ in utero could actually kill the mother with sepsis, so an abortion would not only save the woman’s life, it would also maintain her ability to have children in the future.

    Did Stupak and his ilk have this in mind with their all-encompassing ban of abortion? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is certain, the abortion issue is not as black and white as some people would have you believe. The fact that insurance companies will use this as a way to avoid paying for medically necessary treatment actually maintains our horrid status quo where pimply pencil pushers posit on how a physician should practice medicine (alliteration intentional).

    When insurance companies routinely cover pills to get a man’s dick hard but not birth control, the system is stacked against women. It has largely been decided by men making choices about how they will decide what a woman can and cannot do to their own body. As bad as that is, the Stupak amendment is so dangerously stupid and naive that it could potentially kill some women and leave others sterile. I suppose that is what the Michigan Democrat meant by protecting the culture of life.


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